American ballet companies have played host to Russian dancers for decades, with Soviet dancer Rudolf Nureyev leading the one-way exchange program beginning 50 years ago. David Hallberg, an American with American Ballet Theatre, is reversing this trend. The South Dakota-born dancer will be filling a principal spot with the Bolshoi Ballet beginning Nov. 4 and is the first American to enlist permanently with the company.
In an interview with the New York Times, Hallberg spoke about the ambassadorial aspect of joining the Bolshoi and about the “seriousness and depth” of ballet in Russia. For more, check out the full story from the Times here. For an interview with Hallberg from NPR’s Melissa Block, follow the link here.
Russia won’t be the only frontier that Hallberg will blaze with bold cabrioles. He’ll be joining Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central on Dec. 7 as the first ballet dancer to perform on the show. (Mikhail Baryshnikov — you might have heard of him — has also been on the show, but not to dance.) Hallberg will join the ranks of other performers that have been featured on “The Colbert Report,” including Savion Glover and members of the Broadway cast of “Fela.”