“With dance it sort of felt right, I felt I could be myself and express myself, when I was dancing.”
David McAllister’s life in ballet started with a wish upon a star. What sounds like a scene of a movie, set up a remarkable career, that continues to shape the essence of Australian dance, particularly ballet.
David has been associated with the Australian Ballet for 35 years, as of this year. Starting as a dancer at in 1983, making his way up through the ranks, promoted to Senior Artist in 1986 and Principal Dancer in 1989. David had many career highlights including dancing for Princess Diana, in Coppélia.
“It is like a narcotic you are always going for that perfect outcome, which in some performances it happens. I can think in my whole career that went for 18 and a half years, there were five or six shows”
David danced his final performance in Giselle at the Sydney Opera House in 2001, less than 5 months later he became the seventh Artistic Director of the Australian Ballet.
The Australian Ballet is over 50 years old and is held in high regard around the world, for the strength and athleticism of the dancers. The company is also known for its first class medical team that runs an Injury Management and Prevention Program. A critical component for one of the busiest dance companies in the world with upwards of 250 performances programmed a year.
As Artistic Director David has programmed a range of choreographers including Meryl Tankard, Gideon Obarzanek, Stephen Page, Graham Murphy and many other fabulous Australian and international choreographers. David directed his first ballet, The Sleeping Beauty in 2015.
This is a generous and wide-ranging interview, which covers everything from the Marriage Equity Debate of 2017, gender fluidity, leadership to the changing face of ballet and what David is looking forward to in 2018.
You can view the full program of Australian Ballet’s 2018 season here.