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Alexandra

About Gelsey Kirkland

36 posts in this topic

Great humour guys !!!

Unfortunately, I think Hollywood is probably auditioning a Monica right now !

I don't think Gelsey would even make the list of Hollywood's future projects...too bad !

But : "Go...Vanessa !!!"

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Gwyneth Paltrow is thin enough to play Gelsey...or how about that actress who plays Aly McBeal (forgot her name). For Baryshnikov...how about Rasta in pale make-up? smile.gif

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Southern Ballet Theatre in Orlando has a wonderful summer program that Gelsey guest teaches at. She is wonderful. I had her this past summer there and I am having her again. Her classes are amazing. You can't help but have fun in her class. With her husband right along side her, she teaches a character like ballet class that steels the show. I had so much fun and I can't wait until this summer. Her combanations and her corrections were just amazing. The little things she had us working on were just something you would never think of, but actually do help the over all picture of your performance. What an AWSOME teacher she is.

Hollyberry

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Hey! I'm a little over half way into Dancing on my Grave. It's interesting, yet very negative. I'll let you know what I think when I finish it. smile.gif

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Although I wouldn't say Gelsey is one of my favourite dancers (having only seen her dance one role on video and read both her books) I do confess to having a strange fascination with her.

I have read many books where people (particularly other dancers) complain about her meticulous method of preparing for a role, yet I have never heard her 'genius' doubted. Her books were totally honest (and often truth is subjective- whether or not she should take the blame for many of the mistakes in her life is not the point). (Well thats my unlearned opinion anyway).

She seems to be a bundle of contradictions in one tiny woman- 'an amazing combination of fragility and strength' as alexandra mentioned, and able to look spontaneous onstage when every move was rehearsed.

It's no wonder people are still fascinated by her, even now.

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It continues to fascinate me that so many of you who have only seen a video and read the books are still so interested in a dancer whose career ended far too soon. Thanks, Katharyn, for yet another beautiful and insightful post.

There was a Kirkland thread in the Greatest Performances Forum. I'm going to go there now and post something just to put the thread back in action. (And, by the way, please note that if you go to the top of the Board where it says show posts for X days, you can go all the way down to a year; if you do that, you'll get all the threads. On the Greatest Performances Forum, at least, there might be some things of interest that people who weren't here in October or November would like to read.

Alexandra

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I'm almost finished with the book Dancing on my Grave. It seems as though she was never happy except when she was a young girl. I have admired her greatly just from seeing the Kirkland/Baryshnikov Nutcracker movie, but it makes me respect her less because of the horrible way she has run her life. It's very discouraging. Hollyberry: I am taking into consideration what you said about Gelsey's classes at SBT. As some of you know, I was accepted to the summer program there but am still waiting for a reply for scholarship! I think that this may have to be a last minute thing. Sorry, that was a little off the subject! smile.gif

[This message has been edited by pdance (edited April 02, 1999).]

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pdance, you're right. It's not a nice book. She was a very troubled young woman. But it doesn't take away from the fact that she had a very great talent. That kind of a talent is a gift, but it can also be a burden if one doesn't have the right kind of guidance. Gelsey Kirkland seems to have had very little help. I don't look down on her for her problems, although I found the book very distasteful. I look at her as someone with an illness. I think there's a difference between someone with a weakness of character and someone who is ill. All she really wanted was to be a perfect dancer.

Any dancer I've ever talked to who had the chance to work with a great artist has found it one of the most exciting and important experiences in their life. So I hope you get your scholarship, and that you don't hold the book against her. (She would have had a lot of help writing the book, you konw, and they would have been anxious to put the most sensational stuff in it.)

Alexandra

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I read both of Kirkland's books and found them both very eye-opening. Although they may seem harsh or to revealing i found that they made me more aware of what goes on behind the secenes of the ballet world. For me it was an example of what not to do but i can see the other side of the effect of this book. I saw a friend of mine attempt to follow the 'apple a day' diet as described in one of the two books. I know that by reading the books it only reinforced her insecurities. I found, for me it made me aware of the struggles involved to get to where i want to go and not to let other eating disorders or insecurities drag me backwards. Most of all it taught me not to abuse my body.

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I agree, Alexandra. I don't hold the book against her, though I feel that she did make some wrong choices, such as cocaine. I feel sorry for her because of her anorexia. I do agree that she was sick.

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Hi, pdance. I'm really glad to hear from you. I was afraid that Gelsey's book had really turned you off of all things ballet! Both you and Sezza have, I think, a very mature attitude towards the dancer and her book.

I think that somewhere else, you (pdance) had asked about Darcey Bussell's book? I've found it for you. It's called "Life in Dance," by Darcey Bussell. The publisher is CenturyTa London publisher, but I'm sure it will be available over here. If not, and it's not in your library, you could ask someone to try David Leonard's site, dance books, at www.dancebooks.co.uk . I think she's had a simpler life (but don't take everything she says about her roles as Gospel).

Alexandra

P.S. If anyone else wants to answer this post, or talk more about Gelsey Kirkland, could you PLEASE START A NEW THREAD? THANKS.

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