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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The Dance - David McAllister, 2016

Peter Brew-Bevan

inkjet print on paper (frame: 89.0 cm x 186.0 cm, image: 83.0 cm x 183.0 cm)

David McAllister AM (b. 1963) is the Artistic Director of the Australian Ballet. Born in Perth, he began studying ballet there in the early 1970s, weathering harassment from both schoolmates and teachers for his love of dance. At seventeen he left for Melbourne and further training at the Australian Ballet School, joining the Australian Ballet in 1983, winning bronze at the Fifth International Ballet Competition in Moscow in 1985, and being promoted to principal artist with the company in 1989. Working under successive artistic directors Maina Gielgud and Ross Stretton, McAllister’s major roles included those in Onegin, Romeo and Juliet, La Fille mal gardee, Don Quixote, The Sentimental Bloke, Coppelia, Manon, La Sylphide, Sinfonietta and Stepping Stones. As a guest artist he has danced with the Bolshoi Ballet, the Kirov Ballet, the National Ballet of Canada, the Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Singapore Dance Theatre, among other companies. Having made his final appearance as dancer in Giselle in 2001, he became the Australian Ballet’s Artistic Director shortly afterwards, and has since overseen the creation of new productions of Swan Lake (2002) and Sleeping Beauty (2015).

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Commissioned with funds provided by The Stuart Leslie Foundation 2016
© Peter Brew-Bevan

Accession number: 2016.63.1

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Peter Brew-Bevan (age 47 in 2016)

David McAllister AM (age 53 in 2016)

Related information

The Dance - David McAllister, 2016 Peter Brew-Bevan
The Dance - David McAllister, 2016 Peter Brew-Bevan
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Private dancer

In conversation: virtual event

Fri 16 Oct
12:30pm

Assume ballet position one and join photographer Peter Brew Bevan – in conversation with Before hand exhibition curator, Penny Grist – as he provides insight into the private life of his portrait of dancer David McAllister.

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

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© National Portrait Gallery 2020
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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.