Extended Audio Sample

Download A Body of Work: Dancing to the Edge and Back Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Body of Work: Dancing to the Edge and Back Audiobook, by David Hallberg Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David Hallberg Narrator: Vikas Adam Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2017 ISBN: 9781538491409
Regular Price: $22.95 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $10.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

David Hallberg, the first American to join the famed Bolshoi Ballet as a principal dancer and the dazzling artist the New York Times described as “the foremost classical stylist of our day,” presents an intimate journey through his artistic life up to the moment he returns to the stage after a devastating injury almost cost him his career.

Beginning with his real-life Billy Elliot childhood—an all-American story marred by intense bullying—and culminating in his hard-won come-back, Hallberg’s brave memoir dives deep into life as an artist as he wrestles with ego, pushes the limits of his body, and searches for ecstatic perfection and fulfillment as one of the world’s most acclaimed ballet dancers.

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 listeners into daily class, rigorous rehearsals, and triumphant performances, searching for new interpretations of ballet’s greatest roles. He reveals the loneliness he felt as a teenager leaving America to join the Paris Opera Ballet, 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, tendered by the artistic director who would later be the victim of a vicious acid attack. Then, as Hallberg performed throughout the world at the peak of his abilities, he suffered a crippling ankle injury and unsuccessful surgery leading to an agonizing retreat from ballet and an honest reexamination of his entire life.

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

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Candid and engrossing…With a light touch, he leads the reader through his fanatical devotion to dance, how he came to be an adrenaline junkie hooked on performing…His book is peppered with disclosures, many of them painful: the bullies, his first love, his snotty classmates during a year of study in Paris—and that one intimidating ballerina.”

    Washington Post

  • “Compelling…for anyone who would like to get to an intimate view of the creative process and the challenges, dedication, and euphoria of being an artist….It’s a book for everyone with a heart.”

    DC Metro Theater Arts

  • “What makes A Body of Work a must-read is the raw honesty with which Hallberg describes the intense lonliness of a jet-setting career, his oscillation between extreme perfectionism and uninspired listlessness, and his harrowing mindset as he faced, and ultimately overcame, what was nearly a career-ending injury.”

    Dance Magazine

  • “Elegant…fascinating…inspiring..Anyone interested in the creative process will appreciate this thoughtful account of the life of an accomplished artist.”


  • “[This] brisk, beautifully executed new memoir…documents his rise to the top of the ballet world and coping with a career-threatening injury…Provides an enthralling inside look at life in the studio—the physical pain, the hard-to-please partners, the struggle to transcend technique and achieve artistry…Readers of every taste will find much to relish in his inspiring book.”


  • “An inspiring story of Hallberg’s rise to the pinnacle of his profession and his battle to reclaim his career.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “David demonstrates well the emotional as well as physical demands of dance.”

    Twyla Tharp, Emmy Award–winning choreographer

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author

David Hallberg began jazz and tap classes at the age of ten. He began his formal ballet training at thirteen, and in 1999 was accepted into the Paris Opera Ballet School. He joined the American Ballet Theatre in 2001 and became a principal dancer in 2006. He joined the Bolshoi Ballet as a Premier Danseur in September 2011, the first American to join the company with that title. He has performed in the world’s greatest opera houses with companies including the Mariinsky Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Teatro Colon/Buenos Aires, La Scala/Milan, the Royal Swedish Ballet, and the Australian Ballet. In 2017, Hallberg became Resident Guest Artist with the Australian Ballet. He won the Benois de la Danse Award in 2010, was a recipient of the Princess Grace Fellowship in 2002 and its Statue Award in 2014, and was given the merging Artist Award from Americans for the Arts in 2014. He lives in New York City. A Body of Work is his first book.

About the Narrator

Vikas Adam is a classically trained actor with numerous credits in stage, film, commercials, and television, in addition to his over one hundred recorded audiobooks. An Audie Award nominee, he has garnered many awards for his narrations, including seven AudioFile Earphones Awards and various Best of the Year lists.