David Hallberg the headline attraction for the Australian Ballet’s gala

David Hallberg will return to Australia to guest with the Australian Ballet in the company’s s 50th anniversary gala in Melbourne at the end of October.

The 29-year-old American, whose frequent flyer points must be building nicely as he divides his time between New York (American Ballet Theatre) and Moscow (the Bolshoi Ballet), was last in Melbourne when he guested with the Australian Ballet during the season of Peter Wright’s Nutcracker in 2010.

For the gala, he will dance Balanchine’s Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, though there’s no news yet of who he will partner.

The Australian Ballet has just announced Hallberg’s guest appearance along with more details of performers and pieces by various companies.

Elisa Badenes and Daniel Camargo from the Stuttgart Ballet will perform Demis Volpi’s Work Little Monsters which won the Erik Bruhn Prize for best choreography last year in Canada.

The Tokyo Ballet’s Mizuka Ueno and Kazuo Kimura will dance an excerpt from Carmen (choreography by Albert Alonso) and dancers from the National Ballet of China will perform an except from Giselle (no dancers named as yet).

The Australian Ballet will perform Harald Lander’s Etudes, a ballet that came into the company’s repertoire in 1986 during the artistic directorship of Maina Gielgud.

When the company danced this work in 1992, it was part of a triple bill including Balanchine’s In the Night and Gideon Obarzanek’s Sand Siren. The leading dancers were David McAllister, Lisa Pavane, Campbell McKenzie and David Ashmole.

Etudes was last performed by the Australian Ballet 11 years ago, in Melbourne, in September 2001.

Since the world premiere of the ballet by the Royal Ballet of Denmark in 1948, Etudes was produced by Lander in many countries, and after his death, by Toni and Lise Lander and Josette Amiel.

It’s a classroom ballet that starts with dancers at the barre and then follows the pattern of a class that progresses from simple exercises and steps, then builds to a crescendo of virtuoso steps, with a romantic pas de quatre and a classical pas de trois as its centrepieces.

I’m looking forward to seeing it once more.

In the video, Hallberg is dancing with the now retired ABT principal, Michele Wiles in Grand Pas Classique.

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David Hallberg, photo © Matthew Karas for Dance Magazine

Lisa Pavane and David Ashmole, Etudes, photo © Don McMurdo, courtesy National Library of Australia