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.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.