This interview, in ArtForum, is quite fascinating. Hallberg talks about his questions about ballet, and his desire to work in other forms of dance. He discusses his feelings about the limitations imposed on him by the traditions of ballet. Here’s an excerpt:
“When you take something like Swan Lake, you’re a cardboard cutout of a prince, one who falls in love with birds. It’s a fairytale. I’m not saying people aren’t moved by it; of course they are. That is why it’s lasted. But I’ve questioned what my voice is in something like that. I’m made for this, I’m built for this, I’ve trained for this. I’m the prince; but do I just put on my white tights until my body starts to expire and then call it a day?”
And his search for a voice:
“There are so few artists in the ballet world who embody an individuality of their roles, of the classics. [Natalia] Osipova is one, [Diana] Vishneva is one. Osipova is someone who innately has to do it the way she does it, or else she can’t do it. She can’t be told what to do; this is her, bursting out. So few ballet dancers are successful in that. And I feel like I am unsuccessful in that regard, that I have never truly found my individual voice.”
It’s also interesting how little he talks about music, which, one would think, would be one major motivation for dancing.
All in all, a very interesting portrait of a dancer who seems to be at a crossroads.