This August, publisher Thames & Hudson brings us Ballet Confidential, an in-depth exploration of the gritty and glamorous world of professional ballet by one of the most celebrated artists of our time, David McAllister.
Beyond the formidable combination of tulle and lycra, how much can an audience ever truly understand about the demands of being a ballet dancer? What really is the pain and pleasure of pointe shoes and jockstraps? Can a wardrobe malfunction derail a scene? What happens when injury sidelines a principal dancer mid-show?
Here is a tell-all guide, an all-access pass for ballet lovers and the ballet-curious by McAllister, internationally acclaimed dancer and former artistic director of The Australian Ballet.
From toe acting to the perils of partnering and onstage/offstage romances, McAllister answers in intimate detail everything you have ever wanted to know about ballet but were too afraid to ask.
The book also features exclusive photography of The Australian Ballet’s Benedicte Bemet, as well as stills from Australian Ballet performances of The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and more.
McAllister is the former artistic director and principal dancer of The Australian Ballet. During his time with the company, he danced principal roles in The Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, Coppélia, Manon, La Sylphide, Onegin, Romeo and Juliet, and more. McAllister made international guest appearances with Bolshoi Ballet, the Kirov Ballet, the State Ballet of Georgia and numerous others. In 2001, he became Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet. He was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2004 Australia Day Honours List and was invited to become a Vice President of the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD). In 2021, he was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday’s Honours list. He has also received the Queen’s Coronation Medal from the RAD and the J.C. Williamson Award from Live Performance Australia.