David McAllister AC

David McAllister Headshot RNZB Acting Artistic Director David McAllister AC. Photo by Justin Ridler, 2017.

David McAllister AC, Acting Artistic Director

Born in Perth, David McAllister joined The Australian Ballet in 1983 and was promoted to principal artist in 1989. During his time with the company, he danced many principal roles, including those in The Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, Coppélia, Manon, La Sylphide, John Cranko’s Onegin and Romeo and Juliet; in 1985 he won Bronze at the Fifth International Ballet Competition in Moscow.

Throughout his career, David made numerous guest appearances worldwide, dancing with Bolshoi Ballet, the Kirov Ballet, the Georgian State Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Singapore Dance Theatre and, in 1992, as part of a Royal Gala performance in London in the presence of the Princess of Wales. In 2000, he completed a Graduate Diploma in Arts and Entertainment Management and in 2001, took his final bow as a dancer.

In July of that year, David 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. In 2015, David premiered a new production of The Sleeping Beauty for The Australian Ballet. After two decades at the head of The Australian Ballet, at the end of 2020 David embarked on a new freelance career, co-authoring a Memoir with Amanda Dunn titled SOAR and creating a new production of Swan Lake for the Finnish National Ballet. In 2021 he became a Companion of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday’s Honours list, received the Queen’s Coronation Medal from the Royal Academy of Dance and the J.C. Williamson Award from Live Performance Australia.