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David Hallberg Presents: "Legacy", a Ballet Gala, at the David H. Koch Theater
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David Hallberg Presents: "Legacy", a Ballet Gala, at the David H. Koch Theater

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David Hallberg Presents: Legacy
(Hallberg Bio)

David H. Koch Theater
Lincoln Center

Hosted and Curated by David Hallberg

In Conjunction with Youth America Grand Prix
Larissa Saveliev: Founder and Artistic Director
Gennadi Saveliev: Founder and President

Press: Jonathan Marder + Company

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
April 17, 2015

With an incredible lineup of tour de force ballet talent, the Youth America Grand Prix produced one final gala, after its Final Rounds and 2015 Gala evenings at Koch Theater. Tonight’s “Legacy” was hosted and curated by David Hallberg, a Principal with American Ballet Theatre (ABT), who has been favorably reviewed for years on these pages. David is also a Premier Danseur with the Bolshoi Ballet. This was a rare glimpse into the private persona and thought process of a beloved ballet dancer, whom we have observed in one-act and full length ballets at the Met Opera House, at Koch Theater, at City Center, at Fisher Hall, and in ballet video presentations. Dancers are known visually, so to listen to Mr. Hallberg share, tonight, his journey as a dancer, in New York, in Moscow, and around the globe, in collaboration with international companies, was fascinating. Many of the companies with which Mr. Hallberg has danced were represented tonight in performance. Unfortunately, Mr. Hallberg was not dancing, as he’s in recovery from an injury. But his enthusiasm and warmth were grand and inviting.

The first presentation, from the Bolshoi, was the Pas de Deux from Pierre Lacotte’s Pharaoh’s Daughter, seen last night at the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) Gala, with the same cast. Evgenia Obraztsova was partnered by Semyon Chudin. Tonight there was more affect and dramatic aura, than last night’s onstage, mid-dance grandstanding. The duo’s technical dimensions were seasoned and bravura in quality. Veronika Part, a Principal with ABT, danced a Lar Lubovitch solo, Scriabin Dances, in a spaghetti-strapped black costume, with rapturous elegance, expansive fluidity, and earthy charisma. Balanchine’s Diamonds Pas de Deux brought Mr. Chudin back onstage, partnering Yekaterina Kondaurova, of the Mariinsky Ballet. Here Mr. Chudin was more studied and restrained, a perfect cavalier to the luxurious performance of Ms. Kondaurova. Before intermission, the Tokyo Ballet, in its US debut, presented Maurice Bejart’s Bhakti III, with a score of traditional music of India. This magnetic dance, with glowing, fiery red unitards for women, red tights for the bare-chested men, created gripping, ensemble imagery, with spidery leg work, en pointe.

After intermission, fourteen members of the American Ballet Theatre Studio Company, the second tier troupe, lifted fans in the air for the specially commissioned, Pontus Lidberg’s Untitled, a world premiere. This ballet was so ethereal, it was evocative of a black-white, 1930’s, Hollywood film. It just happens that Mr. Lidberg is also a filmmaker. Mr. Lidberg’s choreography was also seen at the 2014 Fall for Dance at NY City Center, with This Was Written On Water, and, previously, at the 2011 Fall for Dance, with Faune, both receiving rave reviews on these pages. I’d love to see a full evening of Mr. Lidberg’s transporting ballets. The Australian Ballet was represented tonight in Stephen Baynes’ Unspoken Dialogues, a US premiere, danced by Amber Scott and Rudy Hawkes. This ballet was less transfixing, but, yet, athletic and dramatized. For Mr. Hallberg’s evening finale, the Mariinsky Ballet performed Anton Pimonov’s Choreographic Game 3x3, music by Johan Peter Pixis. Here the mood was light and lyrical, comedic and campy. Kudos to David Hallberg for taking on this curating, hosting, and narrating challenge. I look forward to his next gala event, which is sure to be, once again, a class act.

David Hallberg Greets the Legacy Gala Guests
Courtesy of Siggul/VAM

Veronica Part (ABT) in "Scriabin Dances"
Choreography by Lar Lubovitch
Courtesy of Siggul/VAM

Yekaterina Kondaurova (Mariinsky) and Semyon Chudin (Bolshoi)
in Balanchine's "Diamonds" Pas de Deux
Courtesy of Siggul/VAM

Tokyo Ballet in "Bhakti III"
Choreography by Maurice Bejart
Courtesy of Siggul/VAM

American Ballet Theatre Studio Company in "Untitled"
Choreography by Pontus Lidberg
Courtesy of Siggul/VAM

Amber Scott and Rudy Hawkes (Australian Ballet)
in "Unspoken Dialogues"
Choreography by Stephen Baynes
Courtesy of Siggul/VAM

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at