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Gelsey Kirkland


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#1 juliajane

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 03:01 PM

Is Gelsey Kirkland working with ABT again this season? If not, does anyone know what she's doing?
juliajane

#2 vrsfanatic

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 03:36 PM

Her Sleeping Beauty is being performed in Miami in March by ABTand I believe also in Chicago at some point this winter. Perhaps she is around rehearsing, re-working and/or planning? :smilie_mondieu:

#3 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 09:07 PM

Her Sleeping Beauty is being performed in Miami in March

I know!...i can't wait to see her Carabosse :smilie_mondieu: . For some reason, it seems to me that after "Dancing on my grave" came out, people mention her name-(if they do it at all) -with some sort of reserve, and sometimes even with some dislike...or is just my imagination...?

#4 glebb

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 09:18 PM

I think the 1st book was very negative but her 2nd book 'The Shape of Love' was extremely inspiring.
I consider myself quite fortunate to have been living in NYC during her glory days. She was divine.
I also had the good fortune of being invited to her apt for breakfast to discuss GISELLE last April.
She seems to be in quite a good place. She was able to answer many of my questions very easily and clearly.
I really floated the rest of the day.

#5 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 09:32 PM

I think the 1st book was very negative but her 2nd book 'The Shape of Love' was extremely inspiring.
I consider myself quite fortunate to have been living in NYC during her glory days. She was divine.
I also had the good fortune of being invited to her apt for breakfast to discuss GISELLE last April.
She seems to be in quite a good place. She was able to answer many of my questions very easily and clearly.
I really floated the rest of the day.

I'm happy to hear that glebb!. I also believe that the raw style of storytelling that she used on "Dancing..." has created an impact within the ballet community. Some people just like to close their eyes in total denial and lie to themselves about things that are factual and real regarding substance abuse and ballet. In my opinion, she was very brave to expose , without masking them, all the facts that sooner or later had to be uncovered and addressed by somebody like herself. She is, for sure, an inspiration for young dancers and i admire her for being sincere and outspoken about her own demons. :smilie_mondieu:

#6 angieballerina

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 06:27 PM

In my opinion, she was very brave to expose , without masking them, all the facts that sooner or later had to be uncovered and addressed by somebody like herself. She is, for sure, an inspiration for young dancers and i admire her for being sincere and outspoken about her own demons.

I would agree! Her first book was very dark and depressing at times, but I liked it. I could not put it down. Her second book, The Shape of Love was much lighter, and inspirational; also an interesting read. I just find her fascinating!

I might go see ABT's "Beauty" in Chicago in April. Does anyone know the casting for those performances?
I would LOVE to see her perform, as I never have. :dry:

#7 vipa

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 07:12 PM

.
I consider myself quite fortunate to have been living in NYC during her glory days. She was divine.
I also had the good fortune of being invited to her apt for breakfast to discuss GISELLE last April.
She seems to be in quite a good place. She was able to answer many of my questions very easily and clearly.
I really floated the rest of the day.


I too was a witness to her glory days. She was one of my favorites at the time, indeed one of the divine ones. I'm glad to hear she seems in a good place now.

As to her first book, I found it sad and in many ways immature. Being cast as Firebird as a teenager she hated the choreography, the costume and the music. I wonder if she's come to appreciate Stravinsky more with age!

I've read recent interviews in which she expresses regret for the people she hurt in the book.

Also interesting that she is very private about the break up of her first marriage (she certainly has a right to be) after the tell all of every detail of her early life. Maturity and perspective does wonders.

I saw her Caraboose last year -- it was terrific -- I wish her well.

#8 szymanowski

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 01:42 AM

<<Being cast as Firebird as a teenager she hated the choreography, the costume and the music. I wonder if she's come to appreciate Stravinsky more with age!>>

Actually, disliking Firebird doesn't mean one doesn't love Stravinsky. I always thought the music was warmed-over Rimsky-Korsakov: sort of bland, a little pompous. I *LOVE* the Stravinsky of Le Sacre and his "atonal" stuff (Agon, Movements, etc). Firebird always seemed - to me atleast - to be a youthful indiscretion. :dry:

#9 FauxPas

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 07:16 AM

One major aspect of Gelsey's first book "Dancing on My Grave" is its recklessly confessional tone, she doesn't care who she offends, great or small, but honesty does carry the day. However, she also blames others for her problems, all of them. Even discussing her father's alcoholism, she blames him for her early need for controlling father figures but doesn't connect the dots between her own genetically inherited substance abuse and addiction crises as an adult. In the second book she manages to find herself responsible for some of the bad things that happened to her.

The two good aspects that do connect the books are the excellent writing style and the devotion to exploring and creating truthful, emotionally layered dance in rehearsal, coaching sessions and with sympathetic partners onstage. Those bits where Gelsey describes how she created extra rehearsals and sought out expert coaches to help her realize her interpretations show real commitment and passion for art. They are some of the best parts of each book.

Quick question: is Gelsey doing Carabosse now in D.C. and is she doing it in the Spring at the ABT Met season?

#10 Natalia

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 07:19 AM

Kirkland is NOT performing Carabosse in DC. The only 'celebrity Carabosse' in this run is Van Hamel, who was terrific yet again last night!

My guess is that Kirkland is not doing Carabosse on tour (outside of NYC) but maybe she'll surprise Miami & Chicago. :dry:

#11 pj

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 02:09 PM

But Ms. Kirkland is in DC (well, at least she was yesterday), watching classes at the Kirov Academy. :speechless-smiley-003:

#12 nijinsky1979

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 01:26 AM

There's a newly-posted video on YouTube of her and Anthony Dowell doing the balcony pas de deux from MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet:



She really lets go in this one, and of course it's breathtaking. I think this is from the mid-'80s, after she left ABT. It seems she left her demons behind in New York, as well as a lot of her self-consciousness.

By the way, I haven't read The Shape of Love.

#13 nijinsky1979

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 01:43 AM

I saw the ABT version of The Sleeping Beauty she helped to stage last year, and though I might be relatively naive and inexperienced, I didn't think it was quite as terrible as so many people say it is. (And I also liked the Dowell version of The Sleeping Beauty from 1994, vertigo-inducing scenery and all! So there!)

Actually, I was there the night Kirkland, dancing the role of Carabosse, burned her hand on some pyrotechnics and didn't return for the remainder of the performance. Turns out the injury wasn't serious, and she was taken to the hospital as a precaution, as reported in The New York Times a few days afterward.

I'd read, as I'm sure many of you have, the Dance Magazine interview in which she said she was trying, through her coaching, to emphasize the importance of the upper body. Not only was Kirkland a sublime technician, she was also a consummate actress, exquisitely expressive. She's obviously a treasure trove of information and insight.

Paloma Herrera and Angel Corella were the leads that night, subbing in for Diana Vishneva and Vladimir Malakhov. I'd seen Herrera in Giselle and Sylvia, and yes, her feet and legs were great, but in The Sleeping Beauty, she was stronger in the upper body, and more cohesive, physically and expressively, than I'd ever seen her (and The Times' Alistair Macaulay agrees). I like to think Kirkland had a hand in this.

So, I hope Kirkland's coaching continues at ABT and elsewhere.

#14 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 06:55 AM

Kirkland is NOT performing Carabosse in DC. The only 'celebrity Carabosse' in this run is Van Hamel, who was terrific yet again last night!

My guess is that Kirkland is not doing Carabosse on tour (outside of NYC) but maybe she'll surprise Miami & Chicago. :)

No, she did not perform it here either, and i was really looking forward to it...damn! :D

#15 Drew

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 09:43 PM

Thank you many times over for the link to the R&J pas de deux--I had never seen this bit of video. On the whole, I think video of Kirkland (at least generally available video) does not remotely capture her, but in this little bit I I felt I saw a glimpse at least of what she was like -- that is, a glimpse of one of the most extraordinary and profound dance artists I ever had the joy and privilege of seeing. I never loved a dancer (and doubt I ever will) as I loved Kirkland.

I would almost say that when she danced, it was if she were dancing in an entirely different dimension from everyone else on stage, but part of her genius was that she often managed to bring the whole stage picture along with her, communicating her quality to everything around her. I do not mean that others danced better when she was dancing (though that may have happened and certainly I saw partners become inspired by her) but that she radiated a world around her, a world so seemingly real that everything became a part of it.

One thing I particularly like about the video of the R&J excerpt is that it gives a hint of the way she simultaneously was all liquid fluidity AND ultra clarity and all while creating a very real emotional portrait--just a hint, but what a pleasure to have it.


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