I am thrilled to share the announcement of my book "A Body of Work: Dancing to the Edge and Back" to be published by Touchstone/Simon & Schuster on November 7, 2017. For the past several years, I have been writing about my career and experience performing on some of the most amazing stages in the world, but the true impetus for the book came when I suffered my injury three years ago. It was then that I decided to open up and write about what I was going through during that struggle to return to my art form. This book is about what it is like to lose everything I thought I had control of and rebuild my life from the ground up again. And In essence, the will it took to let go of ego and everything I thought I knew; only to be re-birthed a completely different artist. Link in my profile for more details on the book and how to order!
Oh Jesus. Thank you @stellaabreradetsky and @gillianemurphy 🎥. Thank you NYC audiences. And THANK YOU @ausballet (every one of you there) The journey has lead me here. I bowed tonight thinking I never thought I'd be here again. But three years later, there I stood; in front of that curtain. 🙏🏽
Tonight I return to the Metropolitan Opera House stage after a three year absence. I can't tell you how it feels personally; comfortable, exhilarating, new, honest. I can honestly say that this new chapter is so much deeper and intimate for me. I've weathered the most massive of storms and to enter the stage with that now behind me is something I never thought I'd live through but also something I now wouldn't have lived without... Because I really fought to be where I will be tonight; sharing the stage with @abtofficial and dancing in the Premiere of Alexei Ratmansky's Whipped Cream.
This week in @nymag an honest piece by Rebecca Milzoff on where I was and where I am now - full article link in bio. Photo by Ruven Afanador Styling by @rushkabergman
This was the most time-consuming but important exercise I was given. I arrived with insertional Achilles tendonopathy; extreme pain when I tried to run, jump, or push off the foot. The team, with years of research on tendons behind them, began loading it on a quarter demi-pointe with a weight belt and weighted backpack. I held it for 45 seconds, rested for 2 minutes, and repeated 5 times; twice a day. Every couple weeks I added weight and capped off finally at 40kgs. I still do this twice a day religiously. If I cut it out my tendon pain returns. Tendons don't like rest, they like to be loaded the same every day; no surprises! When I arrived I couldn't run without pain, now I can execute Albrecht's 32 six's and sprint across the stage thanks to incremental loading.
These were my feet in Nov 2015, when I first arrived in Melbourne. The right - proper skin tone, no inflammation. The left - red, swollen, angry. It felt like a brick attached to end of my leg and it didn’t move up or down, side to side. I couldn't even walk without some sort of pain. The first thing the @ausballet conditioning specialist Paula Baird-Colt did was draw on my feet. She emphasized proper alignment, in the most minute way, as the base of every exercise I would do from then on. I’d joke that I should get these lines tattooed on me, she drew on them so many times. But that was the most important first lesson I learned; proper alignment and execution of exercises. If I was going to commit the time, I was going to have to do it properly.
November 2015 - This is me, just having arrived to Melbourne on a one-way ticket with a freshly shaved head. I heard that the Rehabilitation Team @ausballet were one of the most comprehensive teams in the dance world and @davidmcallisterausballet, Artistic Director of the company and Sue Mayes, the Principal Physio Therapist, agreed to help me figure out if I could ever get back on stage again, which was a big unknown at that point. The team got straight to work on my foot, which was swollen, red, and stiff. What you see in this picture was one of the first exercises I learned to begin the complete overhaul of my instrument: the “soft ball reach and press," activating the small metatarsals in the tiniest parts of the foot. This was the space where I would spend 5 hours a day on exercises in the first three months; I didn’t even see the inside of a ballet studio. The team (who I will introduce later on) brought me in as one of their own, and everyone in the building, from Admin to dancers, welcomed me unconditionally. This became my home, my refuge, my hiding place and the people inside became my family and friends. They gave me my career back.
To my dear followers, Apologies for not keeping you up on what has been happening with me for the last year and a half. Frankly, I needed to fully escape (both emotionally and geographically) to gain clarity on what turned out to be the most challenging moments in my life thus far. It's been a very hard climb back up. I weathered a 2.5-year battle with a near career-ending injury. What could have gone wrong, went wrong and I was an inch away from retiring and moving on to other pursuits. But there was still a fight in me, one that made me leave everything in New York City and start fresh in Australia. It was there where I rebuilt my entire body from the ground up and gained perspective mentally. I can now see what I learned through the physical and mental hardship, and also realize what true gratitude feels like. Reading messages of your continual support and genuine care for my well-being gave purpose to some of my most hopeless days. Part of that gratitude is knowing that you all, in some way, were fighting with me. In December, I finally returned to the stage in Australia with @ausballet for the first time since injury, and now with several shows behind me, I feel like I am finally back! I am wiser, happier, more thankful, less selfish, more focused. I've chosen to reap the benefits from the last 2.5 years of my life rather than victimize myself, and I'm thrilled to be back in the studio, on stage, and here with you. Throughout the next couple of weeks, I'll take you on a journey of the last year and a half - how I did what I did, which was a choice, a struggle and a reward every single day. Here's to the good fight, and to you for your amazing support. Much love, David
Emerging from the shadows...
❤️ @carineroitfeld @matthewbrookesphoto
Goodbye New York. There's some stuff I gotta take care of once and for all.
Thank you dear Fabio Zambernardi @zambishot for this absolutely stunning creation. You and the @prada team were so amazing to work with. Bravo Fabio. 👏🏻👏🏻💓💓
#fortunadesperata @performanyc Photo: @alechadwatterson
#fortunadesperata opening night. @performanyc @prada
#fortunadesperata @performanyc @prada final bow. Photo: @alechadwatterson
@performanyc opening night #selfie
Unbelievable sketch of an unbelievable costume by Fabio Zambernardi @zambishot for @prada for the @performanyc opening TOMORROW where #francescovezzoli and I reconstruct 15th century court dancing.
Sneak peak. @performanyc Nov. 1. @prada