After what appears to have been an emotionally draining injury-rehabilitation program, American Ballet Theatre and Bolshoi Ballet star David Hallberg has returned to the stage.
A little over a year ago, Hallberg buzzed his hair, posted a semi-cryptic message on Instagram and dropped out of the ballet world altogether. He moved to Australia to treat a lingering ankle injury, specifically seeking out Sue Mayes and the Australian Ballet's physical therapy team. Now healthy, he made his comeback in Sydney on the evening of December 13. He performed the role of Franz in Coppélia, as a guest artists with the Australian Ballet.
Hallberg tackled his therapy program with a dancer's usual determination and drive, though that didn't keep him from experiencing self-doubt. "Emotionally, some days I was just going by the words of my team and not my own self-belief," he told the Sydney Morning Herald. His pride also took a knock, when students from the Australian Ballet School witnessed him slowly working his way back from injury to peak condition.
Fortunately, those moments of struggle have paid off: Not only was Franz a brand new role for Hallberg to add to his repertoire, but the entire ballet world wished him well during his comeback performance.
Your @abtofficial family is with you @davidhallberger as you return to the stage tonight with @ausballet! Behind you always, every step of the way, on stage and off! As the Aussies say, "Chookas!" ❤️ | 📸: @rosalieoconnorphotography @abtofficial #ballet #abtballet
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“It’s changed the way I dance, but also the way I condition myself … The team really taught me the power of prevention: even if it’s a fluke accident, you can often prevent it from happening if you have this really strong, intuitive, honed-in and turned-on support system.” Principal Dancer David Hallberg @davidhallberger on working with our Rehabilitation Team. Tonight, after being away from the stage for two-and-a-half years, David will return to ballet as Franz in Coppélia, dancing with Principal Artist @amber_e_scott … Chookas! Read more about David’s rehabilitation through the link in our bio ⭐ #TABCoppélia 📷 @klongersklongers
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This guy is 1 of the most beautiful people inside and out, an inspiration to me, and a driving force in the dance world. All my love to him tonight as he returns to the stage in Australia. Love you so much David. Hope to see you soon!! Go get em... #Inspiration @davidhallberger #MyRomeo #Strength #NoAwardNeeded #AthleteofGod
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— Marina harss (@MarinaHarss) December 13, 2016
Australian audiences can still catch the danseur noble on December 16, 19 and 21. We'll keep you updated on his next moves!