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The Royal Opera House

David Hallberg: A Body of Work Book

While rich in detail ballet fans will adore, this is a book that anyone interested in a life of creativity will love. Hallberg reflects on themes like inspiration, self-doubt, and perfectionism as he takes readers into daily class, rigorous rehearsals, and triumphant performances, searching for new interpretations of ballet’s greatest roles. He reveals the bullying he endured as a child, the ambition he had to tame as a new member of American Ballet Theatre, and the reasons behind his headline-grabbing decision to be the first American to join the top rank of Bolshoi Ballet. Then, as Hallberg circled the globe performing at the peak of this abilities, he suffered a crippling ankle injury that lead to two surgeries, an agonizing retreat from ballet, and the decision to commit to a radical rebuilding of this body and technique that resulted in his miraculous return to the stage as a new artist and a new man.

Combining his powers of observation and memory with emotional honesty and artistic insight, David Hallberg has written a thrilling dance memoir and an intimate portrait of an artist in all his vulnerability, passion, and wisdom.