Picks and Pans Review: The Shape of Love

UPDATED 10/01/1990 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 10/01/1990 at 01:00 AM EDT

by Gelsey Kirkland and Greg Lawrence

In Dancing on My Grave, former American Ballet Theatre star Kirkland wrote of her ascent from skinny-legged student to principal dancer, her romances with Peter Martins, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Patrick Bissell (who are evaluated for their performances both on and off their feet), and her skirmishes with cocaine addiction. The Shape of Love begins in 1986, when a drug-free Kirkland, absent from the stage for two years, makes a smashing comeback with the Royal Ballet and finds a new career as a teacher. While Dancing on My Grave may have had wide appeal for the names named and the drugs inhaled, The Shape of Love will be of interest chiefly to Kirkland fans and balletomanes fascinated with the intellectual and emotional challenges of interpreting choreographers Kenneth MacMillan and Marius Petipa.

One can't help but admire Kirkland's struggles, passion and guts—a stress fracture slows her down but doesn't stop her. But too often she comes off as a prissy schoolmarm railing against today's callow, leotard-clad youth. And frequently her writing has the tang of melodrama: "The random madness of the outside world hit me again. Were any of us really immune? Would our sublime ideals protect us?" At those moments, the reader may be tempted to mutter, "Put a toe shoe in it, Gelsey." (Doubleday; $19.95)

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Emma and Andrew: All About Hollywood's Cutest Couple
  • Prince George! More Yummy Photos

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine

Advertisement

From Our Partners

Watch It

Editors' Picks

From Our Partners



Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters