The story you haven't heard...
by Josef Brown
Australia has recently been regaled by an artist's compelling story of passion and persistence, one that could easily sit alongside any of the great comeback stories by our sporting legends; a bold story of courage, self-belief and rallying against the odds. It’s a grand tale complete with lofty highs and desperate lows and yet, not all of that story has been told. An intriguing thread, like those found in a good play or film when enjoyed over the course of multiple viewings has been quietly working in the background patiently waiting to be revealed.
The story revolves around one of the worlds most talented dance artists, David Hallberg who at the height of his powers suffered a severe and unrelenting ankle injury that threatened to cut short his sterling international career at the American Ballet Theatre and Bolshoi Ballet.
At 34 and after an ankle operation that might have made some dancers seriously contemplate retirement, David made the fascinating and perhaps highly irregular decision to head to Australia for post-operative care and rehabilitation.
He did so in large measure because of the incredible international reputation the medical team at the Australian Ballet have built over decades of conscientious work. In working with David the team chose to avoid more surgery and instead worked to re-build his technique from the ground up in order to better equip David for the physical rigours of being an in demand international Principal Artist.
It was a yearlong effort finally producing the result that one of the greatest male dancers of his generation, now with renewed hope, is about to take to the stage once more in the Australian Ballet’s Sydney season of Coppélia, to again thrill audiences with the power of his technique, artistry and presence.
But none of this is new. This part of the story has been told before in interviews and headlines and I promised you the story that hasn’t been told. And it is this:
Alongside the brilliant, persistent, patient work of one of best dance medical teams, it has been MDM shoes that have helped replace the scalpel. For the last year David has been wearing MDM shoes for rehabilitation, in class and more recently for rehearsals.
Designed by former Sydney Dance Company soloist, Timothy Heathcote who himself was forced to retire early due to injury, the Australian designed MDM shoe has been the first choice for David’s rehabilitation because no other dance shoe in the world helps support and nurture the foot like MDM.
MDM is now becoming the shoe of choice not just in Australia, but around the world. We are supremely proud to have played an important part alongside a world class medical team and are excited to see the return of one of the living legends of dance return to the stage.
Banner image: @davidhallberger