God, in dance, is Mikhail Baryshnikov. There is no way to reduce his role in the Craft as a genius. He is superior to that. Today, January 27, 2023, he turns 75 years old. Still bright and important.
Born in the former Soviet Union, Mikhail Baryshnikov left the country in 1974 and conquered the world. He settled in New York, where he danced with the New York City Ballet and especially with the American Ballet Theater (which he also directed from 1980 to 1989), contributing to popularizing classical ballet.
The most important thing for a dancer, besides mastering their technique, is to be persistent and brave when it comes to finding their own voice and style. This is hard to do in the short window that is a dancer’s career, but even while they absorb the wisdom of their teachers and coaches, and learn the proper way to execute any given movement, they need to dig inside themselves and make that movement their own. If I had to summarize this process in one word: workMikhail Baryshnikov
Curious and restless, Misha has also worked as an actor in films (he was nominated for an Oscar for The Turning Point), TV (Sex and the City), and Broadway, moved into modern dance, co-founded the White Oak Dance Project, and, since 2005, supports multidisciplinary performing artists at its New York-based Baryshnikov Arts Center. Breath and creativity abound.
In 2022, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award in recognition of his contribution to Dance and starred in a theater production with text by Anton Chekov. With his rich experience, he has shared a little more about what he thinks about politics, life, and the future. “Be a student of the world”, he suggested in an interview with Pointe Magazine in November 2022 when asked what advice he would give to his younger self. “Don’t waste your time. Keep learning. Study languages, literature, math, geography. Step outside of dance. Broaden your horizons and stretch your imagination”.
Thanks for expanding ours!