From the backblocks of Perth to international stardom, this is a story of courage to fight against the odds for your passion and succeed.
David McAllister has always belonged onstage. As the middle child in a Catholic family who knew nothing about dance, he watched himself twirl in the reflective glass of the TV and dreamed about becoming the next Rudolf Nureyev. As a little boy taking ballet lessons, he was mercilessly bullied. As a young man joining the ranks of The Australian Ballet, he worried that he would never play the prince because he lacked the height and lean limbs of a classical dancer. Every time he heard ‘no’, he simply did what he loved – danced.
Sure enough, curtains rose for the unlikely prince: he represented Australia on the world stage; he became a principal dancer and performed his dream roles; he fell in love, onstage and off; and he enjoyed a twenty-year tenure as artistic director of The Australian Ballet, transforming it into one of the top flagship dance companies in the world.
Fifty years since he stepped into his first ballet class, McAllister reflects on his dance journey, his relationships, embracing his sexuality, and the combination of talent, timing and sheer perseverance that gave rise to his transformative career.
Includes 16 pages of colour photos from McAllister’s life and career.