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Books: Gelsey Kirkland


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SugarPlumFairy1

I recently read an article about dancers with eating disorders etc. they mentioned the book. It sounds like a really good read.

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Victoria Leigh

That might be a matter of opinion. It is not a book we recommend for young dancers.

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  • 5 months later...

I thoroughly agree that it is not a book well suited for young readers. I came to this site in April 2006 looking for some information regarding questions I had in my mind after reading the book. I raised them here on this forum and I felt that Mr. Johnson's insights were very informative. His comments helped me to gain some perspective. I do believe he did nail the issues down pat. I was not aware that there was a sequel.

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The first book is really more like tabloid reading. The second is of the beginning of a recovery, and didn't sell NEARLY as well. I believe it's out of print now, while the first continues on. Nothing like scandal to keep a book in new editions!

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I had the same reaction, actually. The book made me somewhat sad. It is such a testimony to what the evils of illicit drugs can do. In that sense it is a good thing that it was published. Perhaps persons might avoid this hazard athough, more typically, people must learn from their own mistakes. That issue aside, I felt the book said "too much," if you will which is why I felt Mr. Johnson's remarks were so on target. As an interesting aside, having nothing to do with the topic at hand, this book was edited by Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis quite some time before her death (when she was employed as an editor for a major NY publishing house).

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I read the second one first, and really wasn't prepared for the bitterness of the first one when I read it. They came from such different places. I thought the second one was quite interesting in terms of her descriptions of preparing for various roles, coaching other dancers and continuing a career after some disasterous mistakes. The first one was just really heartbreaking. Made one think that it's a really good idea to avoid cocaine, plastic surgery, eating disorders and personal relationships with Barishnikov. Although it may be out of print, my local library has The Shape of Love (the second one) and I bet a lot of other libraries have it as well.

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I have copies of both, and I really enjoyed reading them. I agree that the first book is much more raw and bitter. I have always been intrigued by her, and I think she was a great dancer. She exemplifies an era when ballet was "hot" so to speak, in US culture.

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I am glad to learn that she turned her life around and came out of those dark days. I'll have to check out the second book. We do all make mistakes and yet we can rise and grow beyond them. Here is a favorite quote of which speaks volumes to me

 

In the midst of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer

--Albert Camus

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

So I heard about this book here, and tried to order it on Amazon but could only find used copies. Got a used one and just finished yesterday.

 

It sure was depressing, and does make me dislike Balanchine more.

 

Do you guys know if there is an autobiography of a female star dancer that is not depressing that I could read?

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Balletbabe32
So I heard about this book here, and tried to order it on Amazon but could only find used copies. Got a used one and just finished yesterday.

 

It sure was depressing, and does make me dislike Balanchine more.

 

Do you guys know if there is an autobiography of a female star dancer that is not depressing that I could read?

 

Suzanne Farrell's Holding On To The Air.

 

I wouldn't base your opinion of Balanchine on Kirkland's book.

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I also enjoyed Allegra Kent's autobiography. I can't remember the title and someone currently has my copy. If someone else knows the title please add it on. :innocent:

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