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The Sugarless Plum Paperback – March 6, 2016
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From Publishers Weekly
In 1987, when Karz was 21 and dancing in the corps of the prestigious New York City Ballet, she began to suffer constant thirst and dizziness, frequent urination and oozing sores under her arms. After an initial misdiagnosis and months of denying the seriousness of her condition, Karz faced the devastating reality that, as a type 1 diabetic, she would have to take insulin injections for the rest of her life, check her blood-sugar levels at least 10 times a day and was at a high risk for infection and even amputation. Karz details the ups and downs of her childhood, illness and 16-year NYCB career, from a low-blood-sugar episode that almost derailed a performance in Copenhagen to dancing with George Balanchine himself at a School of American Ballet rehearsal; being cast as the Nutcracker's Sugar Plum Fairy; and her promotion to soloist six years after her diagnosis. Karz's prose is simple, and although ballet fans may wish for more insider gossip, Karz offers a satisfying portrait of a dancer making her mark at a competitive world-class company. Diabetics and athletes in particular will gain inspiration from her perseverance, acceptance and control of a debilitating disease. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
*Starred Review* After learning to dance in Thailand during her dad’s army tour, Karz studied at George Balanchine’s School of the American Ballet, the training ground for the New York City Ballet. At 17, she danced as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, and at 20 she danced in company cofounder Jerome Robbins’ Goldberg Variations. Loving the “order and control” of dance, Karz was shaken to the core when she was diagnosed with diabetes at age 21. Failed attempts at self-healing were followed by insulin injections and blood tests throughout her demanding routine of classes, rehearsal, and evening performances—all in secret to conceal the severity of her illness. Six years later, after she’d toured internationally despite frightening fluctuations in blood sugar levels, she remained in the corps de ballet, then was promoted to soloist. One of the pleasures in this empowering journey of talent and determination is Karz’s faultless writing; it’s never awkward or stilted even when she provides medical and technical dance facts. This winning memoir will appeal strongly to readers interested in dance, health, and artists’ memoirs. --Whitney Scott --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Zippora Karz was a part of NYCB when its seminal template existed: Balanchine was still alive (with his discerning eye on her) Peter Martins and Jerome Robbins were in the fold, and Suzanne Farrell, Nureyev, and Baryshnikov were in the immediate environment; it was a time in NYCB's history unlike any other, a time when its foundation was being formed, when the greats roamed the hallways, a time that will never happen again.
More than the story of one ballerina's rise to excellence, "The Sugarless Plum" is the story of dedication, perseverance, and passion that leads against all odds. There is an obstacle in this memoirists story that would bring a lesser spirit to her knees. Rather than succumbing, this ballerina struggles to overcome the challenge, and what the reader is left with are life lessons applicable to any adversarial situation.
Most recent customer reviews
It was a great purchase. I recommend it for those who appreciate ballet and a touching story