After a successful return to the stage with the Australian Ballet, not to mention his debut as Franz in Coppélia, international star David Hallberg is officially back with one of his two home companies. He will join American Ballet Theatre for its Spring 2017 season. No word yet regarding when he'll return to the Bolshoi Ballet.

In a statement, both Hallberg and ABT artistic director Kevin Mackenzie expressed excitement for the return, and New York ballet fans are surely eager to see Hallberg partnered up with the company's women once again (the editors at this magazine certainly are!). Hallberg's schedule hasn't been announced yet, but we're keeping our fingers crossed for a Gillian Murphy/David Hallberg matchup in Giselle (Murphy's partner is currently listed as TBA on May 27). And with Stella Abrera as Myrta, no less? There's also an enticing TBA listed on June 24, for Hee Seo's partner in Onegin. Hallberg told the New York Times that he was excited to work with Alexei Ratmansky again, which means he might be part of the cast originating the choreographer's latest creation for ABT: a surreal evening-length story ballet titled Whipped Cream. The casting for its March premiere is still to be announced.

Hallberg's return probably also means that company men who have recently received notable performance opportunities (Calvin Royal III, for example) may have to wait a bit longer for their turn in other major classical roles. That said, we can't wait to see him back on the opera house stage. Our friends at Dance Magazine made this GIF, which perfectly sums up our feelings:

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Gene Schiavone, Courtesy Boston Ballet

Wonder what's going on in ballet this week? We've rounded up some highlights.

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Sponsored by BLOCH
Courtesy BLOCH

Today's ballet dancer needs a lot from a pointe shoe. "What I did 20 years ago is not what these dancers are doing now," says New York City Ballet shoe manager Linnette Roe. "They are expected to go harder, longer days. They are expected to go from sneakers, to pointe shoes, to character shoes, to barefoot and back to pointe shoes all in a day."

The team at BLOCH developed their line of Stretch Pointe shoes to address dancer's most common complaints about the fit and performance of their pointe shoes. "It's a scientific take on the pointe shoe," says Roe. Dancers are taking notice and Stretch Pointe shoes are now worn by stars like American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston, who stars in BLOCH's latest campaign for the shoes.

We dug into the details of Stretch Pointe's most game-changing features:

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Lindsay Martell at a class performance. Courtesy Martell.

More than once, when I'm sporting my faded, well-loved ballet hoodie, some slight variation of this conversation ensues:

"Is your daughter the dancer?"

"Actually," I say, "I am."

"Wow!" they enthuse. "Who do you dance with? Or have you retired...?"

"I don't dance with a company. I'm not a professional. I just take classes."

Insert mic drop/record scratch/quizzical looks.

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Kevin Lloyd Photography, Courtesy Ballet Jörgen

Canada's Ballet Jörgen is committed to telling Canadian stories by Canadian choreographers. For its next full-length ballet, director Bengt Jörgen turned to what he calls "perhaps the most quintessential Canadian story" of all time: Lucy Maud Montgomery's beloved 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables, about the flame-haired, precocious orphan Anne Shirley. Jörgen is choreographing the work, which will debut in Halifax, Nova Scotia (not far from Anne's fictional home in Avonlea, Prince Edward Island), on September 28 before embarking on a two-year tour of Canada and the U.S.

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