David Hallberg
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American joins Bolshoi ballet as first foreign principal dancer

24 October 2011 Last updated at 02:47 BST

Half a century after the celebrated Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev defected to the West from the Soviet Union, an American is heading to Moscow's most famous ballet company.

David Hallberg is the first foreign dancer to be named the Bolshoi's premier, or principal, dancer.

The 29-year-old from Rapid City, South Dakota, is starting his season in Moscow on 4 November.

David began ballet relatively late at the age of 13. His first dancing passions were tap and jazz. He has danced with the American Ballet Theatre in New York for the past decade.

In this First Person account David talks to the BBC about taking on such a high profile role in Russia and shares a rarely seen home video of him training as a teenager.

Producer: Anna Bressanin