How do you keep your imagination alive? What inspires a ballerina? If you are an artist whose instrument is your body, how do you cope with injury? Amber Petty meets the real people behind the magic on stage. Listen in and discover the fascinating (and unexpected) stories behind a world-class ballet company.
Described by the New Yorker as “the most exciting male dancer in the Western world”, David was at the peak of his powers when he suffered a devastating injury that could have ended his career.
He turned to The Australian Ballet’s medical team for help, and began a journey involving intense self-reflection, reinvention and the realisation that sometimes the end is just the beginning.
David Hallberg made history in 2011 by becoming the first dancer to occupy principal rank at American Ballet Theatre and the first American Principal at Bolshoi Ballet. After working with The Australian Ballet’s medical team to make a heroic recovery from a two-and-a-half-year injury, he is back dancing with American Ballet Theatre, appearing with The Australian Ballet as its resident guest artist, and featuring as an ambassador for both Nike and Tiffany & Co.
Inspired as a child by watching Fred Astaire glide across the floor with Ginger Rogers, raised by a woman who gave him everything, Kevin grew into a dancer who loves to support his leading ladies and who has developed a radar sensitivity to his partner’s energy.
Kevin joined The Australian Ballet in 2003 and was promoted to principal artist in 2010. His roles include Romeo, Neumeier's Nijinsky and Prince Désiré in The Sleeping Beauty, and he will create the lead role in the company’s new production of Spartacus in 2018.
Ako is from Japan. Chen is from China. They both started dancing at the age of three. Both of them have blazing talents that brought them across the world to meet at The Australian Ballet. They danced together … and a love story was born.
Amber steps into their home to talk childhood, fur babies, pick-up lines, wedding plans and why it was so hard for Chen to propose.
Chen was born in China and studied at the Beijing Dance Academy. His abundant talents won him a slew of prizes, including a scholarship to study at The Australian Ballet School. A natural crowd pleaser with an eye-popping ability to leap and spin, he also excels in princely roles like Albrecht and Siegfried. Ako was born and raised in Nagoya, joining The Australian Ballet School in 2015. An ebullient dancer with a pyrotechnic jump, she had her first success as Kitri in Don Quixote, but quickly moved into the full breadth of the repertoire. She was promoted to principal artist in 2015, on the night of her debut as Giselle.