After what appears to have been an emotionally draining injury-rehabilitation program, American Ballet Theatre and Bolshoi Ballet star David Hallberg has returned to the stage.
A little over a year ago, Hallberg buzzed his hair, posted a semi-cryptic message on Instagram and dropped out of the ballet world altogether. He moved to Australia to treat a lingering ankle injury, specifically seeking out Sue Mayes and the Australian Ballet’s physical therapy team. Now healthy, he made his comeback in Sydney on the evening of December 13. He performed the role of Franz in Coppélia, as a guest artists with the Australian Ballet.
Hallberg tackled his therapy program with a dancer’s usual determination and drive, though that didn’t keep him from experiencing self-doubt. “Emotionally, some days I was just going by the words of my team and not my own self-belief,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald. His pride also took a knock, when students from the Australian Ballet School witnessed him slowly working his way back from injury to peak condition.
Fortunately, those moments of struggle have paid off: Not only was Franz a brand new role for Hallberg to add to his repertoire, but the entire ballet world wished him well during his comeback performance.