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March 3, 2020

David Hallberg Named Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet

David Hallberg. Photo: Erin Baiano.

American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer David Hallberg has been appointed Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet, effective January 2021. It was announced on Monday, March 2, 2020 in Melbourne by The Australian Ballet. Hallberg succeeds David McAllister, who served as Artistic Director for the last 30 years.

Commenting on the appointment, American Ballet Theatre Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie said, “David Hallberg has proven himself to be a leader among his peers, as well as an innovator. His leadership of ABT’s choreography workshop, ABT Incubator, successfully provided a platform for new choreographic voices and creativity. I am proud to have witnessed his growth, skill and intelligence as an artist and look forward to seeing his next chapter unfold.”

David Hallberg said, “I am honored to accept the position of Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet, an institution that inspires and energizes me through its dancers and its culture. It is a perfect time in my career to utilize the experience I’ve garnered over 20 years, both at ABT and abroad, and funnel it into the development of dancers and audiences in Australia. I am so inspired to realize my ambitious artistic vision for this world-class institution. The future looks very bright.”

Born in Rapid City, South Dakota, Hallberg began his formal ballet training with Kee Juan Han at the Arizona Ballet School in Phoenix. In 1999, he was accepted into the Paris Opera Ballet School. Hallberg attended American Ballet Theatre’s New York Summer Intensive in 1999 and 2000 and joined ABT Studio Company in September 2000. He joined ABT as a member of the corps de ballet in April 2001 and was promoted to Soloist in January 2004. Hallberg was appointed a Principal Dancer with ABT in May 2006. His repertoire includes ABT’s entire classical canon, as well as a range of works by Artist in Residence Alexei Ratmansky including Chamber Symphony, Seven Sonatas, Firebird, On the Dnieper, The Nutcracker, Whipped Cream and The Bright Stream.

Hallberg joined the Bolshoi Ballet as a Premier Danseur in September 2011, the first American to join the company under that title. In 2017, his memoir A Body of Work: Dancing to the Edge and Back was published by Touchstone.

Hallberg will perform with American Ballet Theatre during its 80th Anniversary Spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House, May 11–July 4, 2020, in the roles of Romeo in Romeo and Juliet on Monday evening, May 25 and Albrecht in Giselle on Thursday evening, June 11. The Metropolitan Opera Box office opens Sunday, March 22. For tickets and information, please visit

Mr. Hallberg’s performances with American Ballet Theatre are sponsored by Avery and Andrew F. Barth.

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