Gelsey Kirkland caused quite a stir when she left New York City Ballet in 1974. Then a rising star in Balanchine's company, she joined American Ballet Theatre at Mikhail Baryshnikov's behest, and became one of the Russian star's most frequent partners. Baryshnikov's high-wattage performances never outshone Kirkland, however. With her exquisite control, meticulous attention to detail, and heart-stopping vulnerability, she became a legend in her own right.
That famous vulnerability is on full display in this clip of Kirkland in Giselle's Act I variation, filmed in 1975, when she was just 23 years old. Happy #ThrowbackThursday!