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 Mikhail Baryshnikov


Born:   28th of January of 1948

Outstanding ballet dancer

      

Mikhail Nikolaevitch Baryshnikov was born on January 27, 1948 in Riga, USSR. He began studying ballet in 1960, at the age of 12. In 1964 he entered the Vaganova School to further his ballet studies. He soon began winning top honors and leading roles in major ballets.
Baryshnikov's talent was obvious from his youth, not only his professional qualities were making him special, such as fantastic jumps and ideal coordination,but also his unique artistic talent. Unfortunately, in the late 1960s the Soviet dance world was very conservative and inclined more to 19th-century traditions than to choreographers of the West, whose work Baryshnikov glimpsed in occasional tours and films. Hsi most famous works in Soviet Union are:
  • "Dafnis and Chloe"
  • "Don Quijote"
  • "Divertisement"
  • "Giselle"
  • "Nutcracker"

In 1973 he was awarded the status of Honoured Artist of Russian Soviet Socialist Republic.

But in 1974 during his tour in Canada he decided not to go back to USSR. Canada gave him the political asylum.Since that time his west ballet career started.

His main goal in leaving the Soviet Union was to work with the ballet innovators; in the first two years after his defection, he danced for no fewer than 13 different choreographers, including Jerome Robbins, Glen Tetley, Alvin Ailey, and Twyla Tharp. "It doesn't matter if every ballet is a success or not," he told New York Times dance critic Anna Kisselgoff in 1976, "The new experience gives me a lot." He cited his fascination with the ways Ailey mixed classical and modern technique and his initial discomfort when Tharp insisted he incorporate eccentric personal gestures in the dance.

In 1978, he abandoned his freelance career to spend 18 months as a principal of the New York City Ballet, run by the legendary George Balanchine. "Mr. B," as he was known, rarely welcomed guest artists and had refused to work with both Nureyev and Makarova; Baryshnikov's decision to devote his full attentions to the New York company stunned the dance world. Balanchine never created a new work for Baryshnikov, though he did coach the young dancer in his distinctive style, and Baryshnikov triumphed in such signature roles as Apollo, Prodigal Son, and Rubies. Robbins did, however, create Opus 19: The Dreamer for Baryshnikov and NYCB favorite Patricia McBride.In 1980, he became Artistic Director of American Ballet Theatre and his role changed from performer to director.
Nevertheless, his fascination with the new has stood him in good stead. While his technique has lost its flash, his mastery of stagecraft influenced American ballet a lot. As he observed, "It doesn't matter how high you lift your leg. The technique is about transparency, simplicity and making an earnest attempt.”.
He organised The White Oak Project with the aim  to create original work for older dancers. In a run ending just short of his 60th birthday in 2007, he appeared in a production of four short plays by Samuel Beckett staged by avant-garde director JoAnne Akalaitis. Joining discipline and charisma, he has fashioned an exceptionally long career and cast a long shadow over the contemporary dance world.

He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1999.In 2000, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts. He has received three Honorary Degrees.

His artistic talent revealed in many American movies such as " The Turning Point", "White Nights", "Dancers","Sex and the City" and other films.

 

 

sources:

people.ru

imdb.com


Tags: Russian dancers Russian ballet    








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