A Body of Work: Dancing to the Edge and Back
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About the Author
David Hallberg began jazz and tap classes at the age of ten. He began his formal ballet training at thirteen, and in 1999 was accepted into the Paris Opera Ballet School. He joined the American Ballet Theatre in 2001 and became a principal dancer in 2006. He joined the Bolshoi Ballet as a Premier Danseur in September 2011, the first American to join the company with that title. He has performed in the world's greatest opera houses with companies including the Mariinsky Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Teatro Colon/Buenos Aires, La Scala/Milan, the Royal Swedish Ballet, and the Australian Ballet. In 2017, Hallberg became Resident Guest Artist with the Australian Ballet. He won the Benois de la Danse Award in 2010, was a recipient of the Princess Grace Fellowship in 2002 and its Statue Award in 2014, and was given the merging Artist Award from Americans for the Arts in 2014. He lives in New York City. A Body of Work is his first book.
"Elegant...fascinating...inspiring...Anyone interested in the creative process will appreciate this thoughtful account of the life of an accomplished artist."-- "Booklist"
"It comes as no surprise that David Hallberg's moving and intelligent memoir should display the extraordinary qualities--of intelligence, elegance, liveliness and, yes, wit--that have marked his extraordinary dancing over the past decade. This tale of an artist's crisis and astonishing recovery eschews any self-pity, instead taking power from the strengths characteristic of the best dancers: resilience, unsentimental self-awareness, and an inextinguishable joy. A wonderful book for balletomanes and everyone else."--Daniel Mendelsohn "Booklist"
"David demonstrates well the emotional as well as physical demands of dance."--Twyla Tharp "Booklist"
"Unsparing...an inside look at...the endless hours of rehearsal, the preparation that informs the tiniest of details, the constant traveling, the brief thrill of performance."--Twyla Tharp "The New York Times"
"An inspiring story of Hallberg's rise to the pinnacle of his profession and his battle to reclaim his career. A moving...account of every dancer's worst nightmare and the sacrifices required to overcome it."--Twyla Tharp "Kirkus Reviews"
"Performing as effortlessly on the page as he does on the stage, Hallberg, who returned to ABT in top form this year, writes about the technicalities of his craft with clarity and precision. Readers of every taste will find much to relish in his inspiring book (balletomanes will consume it in a couple of sittings). Should Hallberg choose to take it on when he retires, a new role may await him: writer." --Twyla Tharp "BookPage"
"What makes A Body of Work a must-read is the raw honesty with which Hallberg describes the intense lonliness of a jet-setting career, his oscillation between extreme perfectionism and uninspired listlessness, and his harrowing mindset as he faced, and ultimately overcame, what was nearly a career-ending injury."--Twyla Tharp "Dance Magazine"
"Compelling...for anyone who would like to get to an intimate view of the creative process and the challenges, dedication, and euphoria of being an artist....It's a book for everyone with a heart."--Twyla Tharp "DC Metro Theater Arts"