Ballet Stars

David Hallberg Joins The Royal Ballet as a Principal Guest Artist

David Hallberg and Natalia Osipova in Romeo and Juliet. Andrej Uspenski, Courtesy ROH.

Yesterday, The Royal Ballet announced that David Hallberg will be joining the company as a principal guest artist for the 2019–20 season.

Hallberg is already a familiar face at The Royal. As a guest last season he danced alongside beloved partner and Royal principal Natalia Osipova in Sir Frederick Ashton's A Month in the Country and Sir Kenneth MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet. This year, Hallberg will continue to take on roles opposite Osipova. They'll perform MacMillan's Manon on October 15 and 19. On November 20, Hallberg will make his Royal Opera House debut as The Sleeping Beauty's Prince Florimund with Osipova as Princess Aurora. In March of 2020, he'll return to star in the company's first revival of Liam Scarlett's new production of Swan Lake.


Over the course of the past year, Hallberg has also toured with Osipova as part of her Pure Dance program, a curated selection of new works. "His [Hallberg's] partnership with Natalia Osipova is thrilling to watch and together they have a very special chemistry," said The Royal Ballet's director Kevin O'Hare in a statement.

"It's such an honor to join The Royal Ballet as principal guest artist and dance beside, not only a partner with whom I share a unique connection, but also a world-renowned company," added Hallberg of his extraordinary connection to the celebrated ballerina.

We can't say we're surprised that Hallberg is in such high demand. Since returning to the stage in 2017 after a two-year-long recovery process, he's been frequently jetting around the world to perform. Last month alone, he danced Giselle at La Scala Theatre Ballet and in Christopher Wheeldon's A Winter's Tale at the Bolshoi. While Hallberg isn't on ABT's fall season roster, we're hoping he'll be back for the company's annual summertime Met season. In the meantime we'll miss seeing Hallberg on this side of the pond, but we're excited for him to embark on this next adventure.

Francisco Estevez, Courtesy Colorado Ballet Academy

When you're looking for a ballet program to take you to the next level, there are a lot of factors to consider. While it's tempting to look for the biggest name that will accept you, the savvy dancer knows that successful training has more to do with the attention and opportunities you'll get.

We put together a few of the most important things for dancers to look for in a summer or year-round training program, with the help of the experts at Colorado Ballet Academy:

Keep reading... Show less
Everything Nutcracker
Pennsylvania Ballet demi-soloist Thays Golz as the Sugar Plum Fairy during a stage rehearsal for George Balanchine's Nutcracker. All photography by Arian Molina Soca.

For many professional ballet dancers, Nutcracker means weeks of performances. That usually translates to multiple casts—and important breakout opportunities for those in the junior ranks. On the afternoon of December 13, Pennsylvania Ballet demi-soloist Thays Golz made her debut as the Sugar Plum Fairy along with her Cavalier, corps member Austin Eylar. For the Brazilian-born dancer, who joined PAB in 2018 after two seasons at Houston Ballet, Sugar Plum marks one of her first principal roles.

"I'm really excited," says Golz. PAB artistic director Angel Corella appointed 12 casts of Sugar Plum Fairies over the run's 29 performances. "When I first found out, I was like, 'Pinch me!' I still can't believe it."

We caught up with Golz just before her debut to see how she prepared for her big break.

Keep reading... Show less
Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy US Prix de Ballet

The US Prix de Ballet is taking an unconventional approach to the ballet competition—by putting the competitors' health first. After a successful first year in 2018, the Prix is returning to San Diego, CA this February with an even more comprehensive lineup of wellness workshops and master classes, in addition, of course, to the high-level competition.

Though the talent is top-notch, the environment is friendly, says HARID Conservatory faculty member Victoria Schneider, who serves on US Prix de Ballet's elite panel of judges. "The wellbeing of the dancer is the main focus," says Schneider, who awarded three scholarships to HARID at last year's competition.

US Prix de Ballet was born after its founders traveled to the Japan Grand Prix International Ballet Competition in 2016. "The company ran every aspect of the competition with professionalism, dignity, honor and precision," says founder Neisha Hernandez. "We knew we wanted this level of experience for America."

Keep reading... Show less