Before David Hallberg’s début in Rudolf Nureyev’s Swan Lake at La Scala he went into “hibernation”, something he says he does before all performances, especially opening nights.
I stay still to not give way to nerves.
But also to be fully charged for a performance.
The amount of energy needed on stage is so great that you need at least 24 hours of almost total stillness before beginning a performance.
However, after the curtain comes down he can let his hair down a little,
I’ll have a glass of ice-cold beer.
Raffaele Panizza for Panorama magazine noted that he has a Russian look. Maybe it was destined that he would become part of the Bolshoi company?
In Moscow they think I’m Swedish. If fact, they’re right: I have Scandinavian blood. But inevitable that I should finish up at the Bolshoi? I think it’s the stars that decided; some mysterious force that has always guided me.
There were no artists in my family, and certainly no ballet dancers. I was watching the television one day and I saw Fred Astaire and decided that I wanted to be like him. I learned tap, then I went to study at the Arizona Ballet School in Phoenix, then the school of the Paris Opera, and finally to New York.
Hallberg – the perfectionist – says that he is ‘damned’,
I’m condemned to eternal dissatisfaction.