Okay, I know it isn’t monday… but I couldn’t come up with a title… and I found myself surrounded by David Hallberg today.
The International Ballerino: David Hallberg
From Arizona Ballet School to the Paris Opera Ballet School… David Hallberg joined American Ballet Theatrein April of 2001 and rose to the rank of Principal in May 2005. While at ABT he won the Benois de la Danse Prize as best male dancer for Albrecht in Giselle. But it wasn’t enough to end there… in 2011 he became the first American to join the presitigious Bolshoi Ballet under the title Premier Dancer. In 2013 he made his debut at the Paris Opera and since has danced with numerous companies around the world. Notably last year he created the title: Resident Guest Artist at the Australian Ballet…But that isn’t enough… the fashion world adores him. From spreads in VOGUE, GQ, CR BOOK to being photographed by some of the most influential photographers of our time… Landing covers of New York Magazine…and numerous others… the Nike Endorsement… The list goes on and on… But it wasn’t always easy for him, battling a serious injury…
But, I am here now, on vacation, enjoying my time reading his book: A Body of Work: Dancing to the Edge and Back. (Kindle $14.99/Hardcover $18.30/Audible–Free click the image below to shop)
The book is actually a pretty decent self reflection… FYI… no pictures.
And if that isn’t enough… Pathé Live just released the Art of David Hallberg… a two disc DVD set featuring his Sleeping Beauty with Svetlana Zakharova, choreography by Yuri Grigorovich and the allstar cast of Marco Spada (Hallberg, Obraztsova, Smirnova, Chudin, Tsvirko) by Pierre Lacotte.
And then there are these amazing 10 videos of his dancing online…
for more information on David Hallberg you can visit his website by clicking here.
Male ballet dancers get the worst reputation… And there is a reason why…
Honestly, it comes down to tights and a dance belt and for some reason that equates to effeminate, which equates to gay. But, if you look at the spectrum of dance, ballet is probably the most manly when it comes to repertory, with the exception of Dresden SemperOpera’s version of bluebird… That one is just… well… flashy… (click here to watch the youtube video)
The roles for men in classical ballet are the following: prince, cavalier, slave, pirate, prince, cavalier, lover, prince… you get the gist. Because of these roles, the vocabulary is limited, say compared to a jazz dancer. Now, because the way the music was written, and male variations are these extremely heavy, weighted variations, the steps a male ballet dancer usually performs are… well limiting. While women are known for their pointe shoes and flexibility, male ballet dancers really only do the following (via my doodles):
So, because I have only posted twice this month (it is LA FASHION WEEK, and fashion month so my real job has been taking up a ridiculous amount of time… okay, and also it happens to be my best friends’ birthdays… so I have been traveling and such)..
Here is my 5 misconceptions about male ballet dancers:
1. Male ballet dancers are weak and frail like girls…
2. Male ballet dancers prance around all day… actually bro, we lift too.
3. All male ballet dancers are gay…
4. Boys in ballet just want to be girls…
Actually, quite the opposite. No male in ballet aspires to be a girl. In fact, unless you are going to join Trock… you will never dance a girl role. Again, you really aspire to be a prince. I mean that is really the only role you can aspire too… I don’t think any boy saw Drosselmeyer and was like when I grow up I want to be that crazy loon. Do I think that boys see professional men jumping and turning, and lifting girls… yes. Do they become intoxicated by the beauty, maybe.
5. Men in ballet are not athletic.
While skateboarders do 720s using momentum v-force… men in ballet do it from a static position.
While track athletes jump hurdles that stand at 42″, ballet dancers are clearing more air while looking relaxed. (Granted track athletes are on a time constraint.)
While football boasts the manliest sport, they are still basically wearing tights…
While wrestlers are wearing less than ballet dancers and touching each other, very rarely do two men ever even touch in ballet.
While soccer players are drilling for foot speed, ballet dancers are are drilling for foot speed at a faster pace, and in exact positions.
While regular guys are at the gym lifting and taking selfies, male ballet dancers are lifting women for 8 hours without straining their necks, and making ugly faces and grunting.
While hockey players are gliding down the ice, well… that is just a hard one to find a comparison.
While baseball players are coordinating catches, male ballet dancers are coordinating catching women.
And finally, while joe schmo is sitting eating a pizza and drinking a beer… well,
male ballet dancers are probably doing the same thing… unless they are about to do a ballet in white tights.