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Jul 022013
 

David Hallberg PBS 500x360 David Hallberg returns to the Bolshoi: this attack wont derail my careerIn ten days’ time David Hall­berg returns to the Bolshoi to dance One­gin with Svet­lana Zakhar­ova. He talked to PBS News Hour about dance, and his first appear­ance with the com­pany after the vari­ous scan­dals which have rocked the theatre dur­ing the last six months.

In Rus­sia [bal­let] is in their blood, it’s in their cul­ture, unlike any­where else in the world. It’s a sort of pride and sense of pur­pose which to me is so inspir­ing to see.

So if bal­let is the Rus­sian base­ball, how does an Amer­ican boy like David Hall­berg get to start dan­cing instead of wield­ing a bat? Watch­ing Top Hat with Fred Astaire when he was eight.

I was glued to the way he moved: his suave­ness, his seam­less way of move­ment. He was a huge inspir­a­tion for me when I was young.

So he star­ted attend­ing classes with Kee Juan Han, who was at the time the dir­ector of the Ari­zona Bal­let School.

He did not kill me with kind­ness. My par­ents would sit in on my private les­sons from time to time, and almost called the child pro­tect­ive ser­vices. But I was so naïve at the time, I didn’t know how hard I was work­ing, and that served as the per­fect ground to mould me into a bal­let dancer.

I was the only boy in my envir­on­ment who danced and I made a tar­get for bul­ly­ing. It was a very hurt­ful exper­i­ence, but I never ques­tioned [my dan­cing], I never doubted my love for it, I never [thought about] whether I should quit or not, to try and fit in because every­one was mak­ing fun of me — it was my res­pite, it was a sort of escape for me.

Now Hall­berg returns to the Bolshoi for the first time after Bal­let Dir­ector Sergei Filin was injured in an acid attack in Janu­ary which has left him almost blind. It was Filin who invited Hall­berg to join the com­pany, and is thought to be one of the causes of ten­sion in the com­pany. Many dan­cers felt that local tal­ent was being over­looked in favour of the Amer­ican boy.

It’s an abso­lutely unac­cept­able act, and attack. Sergei is a vis­ion­ary in the sense that he is push­ing the Bolshoi Theatre into the future, and he’s push­ing a new gen­er­a­tion of dan­cers, and I can’t sup­port that sort of vis­ion enough.

PBS inter­viewer Jef­frey Brown asked him if he had any fears going back.

Cer­tainly. I’d call myself naïve if I didn’t. But I feel like I need to ful­fill my com­mit­ment to the com­pany. I’m not going to let an attack like this derail my career. This is my career and it doesn’t last forever.

  3 Responses to “David Hallberg returns to the Bolshoi: this attack won’t derail my career”

  1. […] David Hall­berg returns to the Bolshoi: this attack won’t derail my career […]

  2. I love David Hall­berg. Thank you for sharing.

  3. […] the same applies at school, before enter­ing the work­place. In a recent inter­view, David Hall­berg said that when he was young, dance was his “res­pite, it was a sort of escape […]

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