Traditional ballet is coming full circle.
More than 50 years ago Soviet ballet dancers like Rudolf Nureyev and George Balanchine defected to the West and Western dancers like Alicia Markova were “Russifying” their names to give them more credibility as a ballerina.
Today, American Ballet Theater principal dancer David Hallberg makes the ironic leap East, becoming the first American dancer to permanently join the Bolshoi Ballet of Moscow. Hallberg, 29, of Rapid City, S.D., will hold the status of premier (the Bolshoi term for principal dancer) while also continuing his responsibilities with ABT.
For more information check out this New York Times article by Alastair MaCaulay and Daniel J. Wakin.