REVIEW: David Hallberg's "A Body of Work"


I have read some autobiographies before, but none caught my eye as much as Hallberg’s book.

When I got it as a Christmas present, I got very excited as I know that David is one of the best dancers in the world and now audiences will have yet another interesting story to read. I had the story in my hands!

But I did not pick it up until late August, and probably because I was focusing on other stuff. Really, it caught my interest because I am going through an injury recovery process, and I knew that David had a devastating injury.

Probably his book would cheer me up a little?

Without spoiling everything, I want to go through why I am giving this book five stars.

I am a slow reader by nature. I love taking my sweet time through every chapter, and I don’t read more than 30 pages a day (probably only 5 to 10 pages a day). But I was really surprised by how little time I spend reading this one.

It turned out to be one of the best autobiographies I have ever read. The book is very well written, and David takes you on his personal journey as if you are watching a movie, or are next to him on every step, accomplishment, and difficulty.

I loved going through his childhood, difficulties with bullying, his wild interest in ballet from jazz and tap, his first professional training experiences, his first contract, getting to be a non-stop principal dancer with two major companies, and finally his devastating, depressing period of injury and recovery. It is truly a smooth, excellent read.

However, what got to me the most is how honest he was when writing. I am sure it was difficult to explain all his emotions at all stages of his life. You really get personal with his interests and obsessions. David does not leave a detail behind, so you feel the flesh and bone feelings of his deep mind.

I really connected with him in some parts of the book. I can say that the feeling of “I need more,” being frustrated with the surroundings, and being so passionate about the art form is something that we have very similar.

As a matter of fact, instead of being sad or concerned about the injury chapters, I enjoyed going through them, as I had a wild interest to know what he really did to accomplish a full recovery after a devastating process. Even when I did not have any surgery, I know some of what he was feeling at the moment. It was not until two and a half years after that he could go on stage once again… who could not be inspired by this?!

Just to conclude my reviews, I personally recommend this book to anyone who would like to take a deep sight into a principal dancer’s life. David Hallberg has gone through many accomplishments, but that does not leave behind insecurities, bad experiences, deep desires, and fears.

After all, he is a human being like all of us, just with a more adventurous life full of art and hunger for dance.

This is an autobiography you do not want to miss.

Purchase David Hallberg’s “A Body of Work” in my shop.