|born on||29 December 1952 at 09:36 (= 09:36 AM )|
|Place||Fountain Hill, Pennsylvania, 40n36, 75w24|
|Timezone||EST h5w (is standard time)|
|Astrology data||07°51' 19°17 Asc. 14°24'|
American ballerina, author and teacher, most noted for her meteoric rise to the top of the ballet world only to sink to the bottom and work her way up again. One of the most outstanding ballet dancers of the twentieth century, Kirkland wrote "Dancing On my Grave" and "The Shape of Love," 1990.
Gelsey is the second of three children with an older sister, Johanna and younger brother, Marshall, of playwright Jack and homemaker Nancy Hoadley Kirkland. Dad, who co-authored the Broadway play "Tobacco Road" and wrote the stage adaptation of "The Man With The Golden Arm" decided to leave farm life behind in Pennsylvania and move his family to New York City in the mid '50s, where his daughters could be stage actresses. Johanna favored ballet class instead and after younger sister Gelsey began watching her sister during ballet class, she thought that dance might be fun. Beginning lessons at age eight, Kirkland was instantly compared with her extroverted sister. "It made me withdraw. Somewhere I developed a lot of inhibitions, complexes about my eyes, my nose, my complexion. I knew only one thing: that I was talented as a dancer and that if I worked hard I would get better. I did - and I did."
Kirkland's talent and work were so prodigious she was given an eight-year scholarship and left school at 15 to devote herself entirely to ballet. "Dancing doesn't come easy to me...I have to work against everything. My muscles are tight, I'm not turned out right and I can never skip classes the way some dancers can." She became the youngest member of the New York City corp de ballet the same year and at 17 danced the lead role, specifically choreographed for her, in George Balanchine's new production of "The Firebird." As a principal dancer at 19, Kirkland's talent inspired many choreographers. In 1974 she left the New York City Ballet to join the more progressive American Ballet Theater in New York where she became the adagio partner of Russian dancer Mikhail Barishnikov. The dancing partners performed to rave reviews internationally over most of the following decade but life on the road coupled with daily classes and rehearsal schedules took its inevitable toll on Kirkland. She was so browbeaten by Ballentine that she went through cosmetic surgery (shorter ear lobes, silicone injection of lips and breasts) to make herself perfect. Known as a driven perfectionist, she worked ceaselessly to perfect her art, eventually becoming anorexic and addicted to cocaine.
By 1984, she left American Ballet Theater with severe physical and emotional problems. A daily cocaine user by then, she met writer Greg Lawrence and together they broke the coke habit. She married Lawrence on 5/13/1985. She didn't dance for two years.
Kirkland who chronicled her downfall, along with scathing criticism of ballet master George Balanchine and the dance world, in her memoirs of that period, "Dancing On My Grave." After its publication in 1986, Kirkland became a pariah in the New York ballet community, but danced with London's Royal Ballet in late 1986, a command performance for Queen Elizabeth.
By 1992, she had made amends with her former adversaries in New York, and began her teaching career at American Ballet Theater that same year. By 1994 she was teaching dance in Manhattan, with an acting debut to her credit in a role on L.A. Law 2/10/1994.
- Social : Left group 1974 in New York (Left New York City Ballet)
- Social : Joined group 1984 (Left American Ballet Theater)
- Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1986 (Memoirs, "Dancing On My Grave")
- Social : Joined group 1986 (Danced with London's Royal Ballet)
- Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1990 (Book, "The Shape of Love")
- Work : New Job 1992 (Began teaching with American Ballet Theater)
- Work : New Career 1994 (Teaching dance in Manhattan)
Gene Lockhart quotes B.C. (Same in Contemporary American Horoscopes)
- Traits : Mind : Child prodigy (Child dance prodigy)
- Traits : Personality : Hard worker
- Traits : Personality : Perfectionist
- Traits : Personality : Personality vulnerable (Fragile; low self-esteem)
- Diagnoses : Body Part Problems : Cosmetic surgery (Ears, lips, breast)
- Diagnoses : Psychological : Abuse Drugs (Rehab)
- Diagnoses : Psychological : Eating Disorder (Anorexia)
- Family : Childhood : Order of birth (Second of three)
- Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (One)
- Lifestyle : Work : Travel for work (Tours)
- Lifestyle : Work : Work in team/ Tandem (Ballet and theatre companies)
- Vocation : Entertainment : Actor/ Actress (Secondary)
- Vocation : Entertainment : TV series/ Soap star (TV series, "LA Law")
- Vocation : Entertain/Music : Dancer/ Teacher (Prima ballerina, teacher)
- Vocation : Writers : Autobiographer (Memoirs)
- Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession
- Notable : Book Collection : Profiles Of Women