Mikhail Baryshnikov is a genius, a legend and adored around the world. He is one of all times best, some argue even the best ever. To me, he is simply God. Today, January 27, he turns 73 years old.
Born in Latvia, Mikhail Baryshnikov began his ballet classes in 1960 and in 1964 was accepted at the Vaganova Academy. He was quickly joined the Kirov Ballet and, at 18, Misha was already seen as one of the best of his generation.
Quick, light and precise, Misha is pure technique but versatile as well. When he left the Soviet Union, in 1974, he became a worldwide celebrity.
In 1977 he premiered in Hollywood, on the movie The Turning Point, to which he was nominated for an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor. On stage, he danced with George Balanchine and Twyla Tharp, mixing classic and modern with equal talent.
When he became American Ballet Theatre’s artistic director, in the late 80s, some of the company’s previous stars weren’t really happy about it. Dancers like Fernando Bujones and Gelsey Kirkland, had problems with him, however, Misha gave the opportunity to newscomers and made new stars.
Baryshnikov stepped away from ABT in the 90s and later created the White Oak Dance Project, as well as the Baryshnikov Arts Centre, on New York, giving support to artists not only from the dance world.
After The Turning Point, he was also sern in White Nights, with Gregory Hines, Isabella Rosselinni and Helen Mirren. In the 00s, younger audiences saw him on the season finale of Sex and The City, pairing Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw. He was the artist Aleksandr Petrovsky, but Misha asked that he would not be a dancer, so people would not confuse reality.
Lately, Baryshnikov dedicates himself to the project Hell’s Kitchen Dance, living near New York, with partner and former dancer, Lisa Rinehart.
Remember some of Mikhail Baryshnikov’s moments.
In White Nights
In The Turning Point