Hallberg at Work

The International Ballet Sensation Shows Off Some Bold New Moves

Through the bustle of Manhattan’s busy streets, down a nondescript hallway and into American Ballet Theater’s bright NYC studios, one of the world’s preeminent male dancers, David Hallberg, invites us into his fervid world in this dynamic short by director Eric K. Yue. “It’s less about the dance or context of a story, but rather a state of mind,” says Yue of his glimpse into the dancer’s tender preparation. “David makes the most difficult and complex moves seem effortless and elegant.” Contemporary Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds’ track “Brim” taken from From Now I am Winter accompanies the progressive movement as Hallberg leaps through the space, twisting and contorting to original choreography created specifically for this film, by friend and fellow ABT dancer Marcelo Gomes. “There was no preconceived notion of how a role has been portrayed in the past, like Swan Lake or Sleeping Beauty,” says Hallberg of performing for the short, which was produced by Forever Pictures. “It is really intimate because the camera is so close, whereas at the Met you have to project to an audience hundreds of feet away.” Principal dancer at New York’s American Ballet Theater, the Dakotan bridged the transatlantic gap in a historic milestone as the first American to join Moscow’s prestigious Bolshoi Ballet in 2011, now spanning the distance as leading man at both. The cultural polymath dominated the pages of April’s American Vogue, shot by photographer Annie Leibovitz in a dramatic editorial, and he also featured in the latest issue of CR Fashion Book, now seating him firmly in the eye-line of the fashion masses, and dance enthusiasts, alike. 

David wears white shirt by SIKI IM, khaki pants and shoes by Marc Jacobs.

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Conversations (16)

  • joelgujjarlapudi
    never heard of him but his moments and focus are commendable - thanks NOWNESS for sharing this info
  • brito
    Love his concentration
    • Posted By brito
    • March 29, 2014 at 6:49AM
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  • SandDancer
    The cinematography is beautiful... I love how the entire body is not always visible. But the choreography and execution, in "contemporary" or modern terms, is novice. There is a detachment between the dance and the emotion. You can't label something as being in the contemporary dance realm just by flexing your foot, touching your legs as if you need support after some sort of emotional turmoil, or putting on a face. Yes, he is a beautiful technician but some dance requires ugliness to be brought out, and that is something that ballet dancers have a hard time physicalizing (I speak from past experience). The emotional and physical struggle shown here is just skimming the surface, never actually physicalizing. For me, the choreographer and dancer both are only indicating feeling and purpose here, not fully letting it manifest and materialize.
    • Posted By SandDancer
    • November 05, 2013 at 9:57AM
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  • Verónica Enenkel
    I agree with the beauty of the video. One of the greatness of David Hallberg, i think, is the way he internalizes his dance, so it´s fair to see the upper body or another aspects, not only his feet. The choreography, as well, is meant to be shot in parts, not complete, and I personally think is about cycles, you know? How at first he stars with slow steps and ends up with ache in his body. I love watching it.
  • KatMar647
    Beautiful, beautiful David. I could watch him dance for hours. A feast for the eyes!
    • Posted By KatMar647
    • August 18, 2013 at 8:05AM
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  • nania olink
    tell me about music please
    • Posted By ADAM HELLER
    • June 17, 2013 at 10:10AM
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  • Romy Macias
    Exquisite and mesmerizing! Thank you, David. Thank you, Marcelo. Thank you, Eric. Thank you, Ólafur!
  • Franco De Rose
    Well done !
  • DCseven
    Serious? The cutting off the feet makes complete sense when you read the video description - "it's less about the dance or context of the story, but rather a state of mind". You can watch a well shot dance video any day, this video offers something different. Come on people...
    • Posted By DCseven
    • June 12, 2013 at 4:59AM
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  • LucyGonz
    Dancing is not just about the perfect feet and arches.... and I'm a dancer. The beauty resides in the whole body and the expression present in every pore of his skin, in the presence in the room. Video dance offers a new, fresh way of seeing dance as a whole and no only in the feet.
  • suesoh10
    Concur, beautiful dancer, beautiful movement, Director too choppy, disturbs the fluidity and harmonious emotional movement.
    • Posted By suesoh10
    • June 11, 2013 at 5:02PM
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  • Mozartmike
    twenty five years dancing and it comes to this.How sad,both the dancer and the man who says that he is a choreographer,should just quietly go away.The man that says that he is a choreographer lies.
  • redshoesgirl
    what is a video about dance all about if it doesn't show the feet of the dancer. and hallberg has beautiful feet. all the cameraman had to do was pull out a little to include the feet. fred astaire insisted that the (almost stationary) camera film a dance routine in a single shot, if possible, while holding the dancers in full view at all times. now in a piece like this we can see that close-ups of the dancer's marvelous face and arms and flexible torso make for a what could have been a great piece, but cutting off the feet - makes no sense.
    • Posted By redshoesgirl
    • June 11, 2013 at 3:25PM
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  • Gogo
    Too bad the director cut off his feet as that is his best asset and what the choreography is abour
    • Posted By Gogo
    • June 11, 2013 at 11:09AM
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  • Ron Taft
    Brilliant dancer. Poorly directed.
    • Posted By Ron Taft
    • June 11, 2013 at 10:04AM
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