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Listen To Mikhail Baryshnikov

December 26, 2016 , , , , , ,

Bryshnikov speaks

Bryshnikov speaks

I was at the Metropolitan Opera on the 4th of July, 1986, the day after Misha became an American citizen.  He danced in the ballet Giselle, and leapt into the air with what appeared to be the greatest of ease, but was the result of a lifetime of training.  He was young and stunningly talented.  American Ballet Theater gave the people an outstanding show, starring the rock star, movie star, ballet star who came to us as a gift from Russia “with love”. The crowd went wild and threw hundreds of roses while giving a standing ovation after the performance.  The audience showed how deeply his presence, and now his citizenship, was appreciated in New York.  It was an exquisite moment in history to witness.  He made his stage debut at the Mariinsky Theatre in 1967, featuring in a production of Giselle. He was born in Riga, present day Latvia. He was trained in ballet in Riga and St. Petersburg in his youth. He defected from the Soviet Union in 1974 after a performance of the Kirov Ballet in Toronto. He moved to New York and became the director of American Ballet Theater.

I was also lucky enough to see him on stage in Paris in the 1990’s when he was dancing to his own choreography in the White Oak Project.  His leaping had been somewhat subdued, but he chose younger dancers for his company who could still hit the very high leaps. His own style had only mellowed and perfected itself then dancing his own creations.  He has performed around the world with many different troupes.  His talents and achievements are legendary.  His training by and defection from the former Soviet Union made his gift even sweeter.  Now his birth land of Latvia is voting to confer Latvian citizenship on their famous son. He has applied for it and the parliament is scheduled to take it under consideration. It would be ironic and odd if he were to need to defect to Latvia once his dual citizenship has been conferred.

Last week it was Prince Charles of the British monarchy warning us that he feels a 1930’s vibe. Now Misha tells us he is feeling a cold war.  We should take heed, gentle readers.  Experience and history are talking to us.

What do you think?

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comments

Kudos for the share of this. I like Baryshnikov for his dance but his thoughtful application of knowing what can come from a less than democratic leadership. He sees it probably more clearly than most… The Cold War is about to be reinvented with a new twist…… with a potential unwittingly allied leader .. that has no experience in government practices and even less knowledge about the historical background that really illuminates what’s going on .

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Stevie Wilson (@LAStory)

December 27, 2016

[ Smiles ] At first, I had no idea who Mikhail Baryshnikov was.

He looks like one very brilliant-minded person.

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Renard Moreau

December 27, 2016

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