US ‘prince’ makes it big in Russia

The leading light of the American Ballet Theater, David Hallberg, has been promoted to the rank of principal dancer at the legendary Bolshoi Theater. It is the first time a foreign star has permanently joined the historic company.

­His high-profile performance in Giselle on the newly opened stage at the Bolshoi, which means “big” in Russian, was met with well-deserved applause.

Praised for his phenomenal jumps, leaps and turns, not to mention his charms, the 29-year-old classical dancer has already performed next to all “royal roles” in the world ballet repertoire.   

As Prince Charming in Cinderella, Conrad in Le Corsaire, Basilio and Espada in Don Quixote, Albrecht in Giselle, Prince Desire in The Sleeping Beauty, Prince Siegfried, Othello, Romeo, Hallberg’s performance range knows no limits.

Moscow is set to become the new “home away from home” for the recipient of the Princess Grace Fellowship award. The New York-based “Prince” has started learning Russian to communicate with his fellow dancers at the Bolshoi.

Among his partners are such luminaries as Natalia Osipova, with whom Hallberg already danced at the Bolshoi last year, as well as prima ballerina Svetlana Zakharova. At the Bolshoi, he is also set to appear in Sleeping Beauty and Don Quixote, while he will continue to occasionally perform with ABT.

Hallberg began his dance journey with jazz and tap classes at the age of ten. His formal ballet training started when he was 13-years-old. He was later accepted into the Paris Opera Ballet School, where he continued his studies under the direction of Claude Bessy, Jacques Namont and Gilbert Meyer.

The versatile American dancer has been a guest artist with many renowned companies including the Royal Swedish Ballet, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires and the Kiev Ballet.

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