[book review] A BODY OF WORK by David Hallberg: Dancing to the Edge and Back

david hallberg body of workA stage performance is an unforgiving art form. There is no chance to rewind, fast-forward, delete or redo it. The artists devote hours, days and years of their life time for training and rehearsing just for the moment. They hope they will be able to share what they love and believe in,that it will bring joy and excitement to the audience, or at least that they would not screw it up. People in the audience hope to experience something they love or have never seen before, to spend a special moment away from their daily lives. The moment the performers and the audiences share begins and ends in the theater, which makes their time together more special. Just how much of those audiences have ever given their thoughts about who the performer — a dancer — is? What is a life of the dancer like?

A BODY OF WORK is a book about a ballet dancer, and also a life of a man who devote himself to what he loves.

David Hallberg as an writer is just like David Hallberg as a dancer: Passionate and honest to himself and his feelings and unwilling to compromise before crisis and despair. In the world of ballet, where established academic education from young age decide a dancer’s fate through his/her career, he climbed up a pyramid from the bottom to the top, step by step, through his hard labor and devotion. He is a record-breaker who was invited as the first American principal dancer.to Bolshoi Ballet, one of the most well-known ballet companies in the world, one whose history equals the history of ballet,

But the book reveals that it is just one of the achievements that he made in his life, even though it certainly is the historic one. Every time he encountered obstacles, he has always confronted challenges head-on, looked for solutions outside and inside, and transformed himself into a stronger and better self. His dance touches and moves people’s hearts because it is a reflection of himself and each moment of his life — his profound love of dancing that let him overcome all of hurdles that he faced.

This book invites readers into the world of ballet, and reminds us what it takes us to truly live our lives for a love.

A BODY OF WORK is published by Touchstone – Simon & Schuster, Inc.

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