Gelsey Kirkland (Born December 29, 1952 in Bethlehem, PA) is an American ballerina. Kirkland joined the New York City Ballet in 1968 at age 15, at the invitation of George Balanchine. She was promoted to soloist in 1969, and principal in 1972. Innocent-looking, girlish and pretty, this diminutive and emotional legendary ballerina has had more drama in her real-life than there ever was onstage. While she was called by Mikhail Baryshnikov, himself, "the best of her generation", she was probably more famous for her raging cocaine addiction and off-stage behaviour. She wrote her autobiographies "Dancing On My Grave" about her introduction to the life of dance, drugs and obsession.
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