Interview with Baryshnikov is a tricky pas de deux - The Globe and Mail
Jul 25, Last May, after a year absence, Gelsey Kirkland was back at American Ballet Theatre. Baryshnikov's widely aired production of The Nutcracker, in which she melts into the role of with her husband Michael Chernov, a theater director and former actor and dancer. . Sort of a love-hate relationship. Oct 5, Dancing on My Grave By Gelsey Kirkland with Greg Lawrence Doubleday, affair with her famous dance partner, Mikhail Baryshnikov--does not disappoint an alcoholic with whom she had an intense love-hate relationship. Feb 28, From Pain and Emotional Turmoil, Gelsey Kirkland Lights Up the Two years ago, at 22, Gelsey Kirkland joined the Russian star Mikhail Baryshnikov An additional complication was Gelsey's relationship with Baryshnikov.
He then went on to the United States. This was Baryshnikov's last performance with New York City Ballet due to a tendinitis and other injuries. His tenure there coincided with a period of ill health that followed an earlier heart attack and culminated in successful heart surgery in June Baryshnikov left the company because he was going to leave anyway to become artistic director of American Ballet Theater in Septemberand he needed time off because of his injuries.
Baryshnikov also toured with ballet and modern dance companies around the world for fifteen months. Several roles were created for him, including roles in Opus Artistic director of the American Ballet Theatre[ edit ] Baryshnikov returned to ABT in September as an artistic director, a position he held until He also performed as a dancer with ABT.
Inhe won the Prix Benois de la Danse for lifetime achievement. InBaryshnikov received the Vilcek Prize in Dance. He stated that the decision was based on memories of his first 16 years living in Latvia, which provided the basis for the rest of his life. Riga still serves as a place where I find artistic inspiration," Baryshnikov wrote in the letter to the Latvian parliament.
More frustrating to him, the Soviet dance world hewed closely to 19th-century traditions and deliberately shunned the creative choreographers of the West, whose work Baryshnikov glimpsed in occasional tours and films. Baryshnikov's main goal in leaving the Soviet Union was to work with these innovators. In the first two years after his defection, he danced for no fewer than 13 different choreographers, including Jerome RobbinsGlen TetleyAlvin Aileyand Twyla Tharp.
Inhe abandoned his freelance career to spend 18 months as a principal of the New York City Balletrun by the legendary George Balanchine. B," as Balanchine 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 ApolloThe Prodigal Sonand Rubies. However, inhe left when the company went behind his back and fired his second-in-command Charles France.
Nevertheless, Baryshnikov's fascination with the new has stood him in good stead. As he observed, "It doesn't matter how high you lift your leg. I read somewhere that you hardly ever go to classical ballet any more. Rarely now, you know. As I said, the clock is ticking and I want to see something [by] people who are pushing [the] envelope. To go to see another four hours of classical production, this time would never come back.
But you're, I gather, a big fan of Mad Men. Who's your favourite character? All of them — I'm in love with these people. I wish I could be in the United States during the Fifties. Because the Fifties produced [the] Sixties, which was the most fabulous time in the United States.
The Sixties produced the Judson group [famous avant-garde choreographers] and all these fabulous innovators, and they affected John Cage and Merce Cunningham and George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, Broadway and the theatre. We are right now in a bit of a slump in the arts, in my view. Well, because in the last years we lost the elderly avant-garde, you know. In any art form, in Hollywood or in music, there is a handful of people who really, you know, move the envelope.
Looking back, I see that this is when the conversation veered toward the original.
Mikhail Baryshnikov: ‘Everything in Russia is a damn soap opera’ - Telegraph
It's a difficult moment to find in any public conversation, even an easier one, and in my experience impossible to predict. In desperation, I'd abandoned my index cards and thus all my careful arranging of the interview into three acts. Maybe that early, unanswered question about his mother's death prepared the way for his later vulnerability, or maybe it delayed it — who knows? In any case, he stopped talking about what he had done and began to talk about what he felt, about what moved him — not his achievements, but what he had lost.
This is what always makes a conversation real, whether it is with your sister or someone you just met: The sports reporter's question — "How did you feel out there? I decided to press my luck, and ask him about his year-old body. He could easily have made fun of that. Instead, he told me everything hurt.
Interview with Baryshnikov is a tricky pas de deux
A few — 10 or something. Ten, all in the knee?
Yeah, knees, bunions, this and that, shoulder, you know, ankle. No, but luckily I had a really extraordinary group of doctors taking care of me, and I survived. He felt the decline of his body. You think about it all the time? Pretty much every day. You know, I'm saying, "I'm alive!
- Mikhail Baryshnikov
- Mikhail Baryshnikov: ‘Everything in Russia is a damn soap opera’
- Last Dance for Ballet's Tragic Prince
But one day I [will] wake up and I [won't be] there. Then what to do? It's very Woody Allen, yes. Woody Allen said, "I'm not afraid of death, I just don't want to be there when it happens. No, I mean, I love to perform; and I'll perform as long as I, in my view, do something meaningful onstage — you know, whatever it is: Martha Graham used to love to say, "The body cannot lie.
From Pain and Emotional Turmoil, Gelsey Kirkland Lights Up the Ballet Stage Again
You cannot be somebody else onstage, no matter how good of an actor or dancer or singer you are. When you open your arms, move your finger, the audience knows who you are, you know. And when the dancers move, together or individually, in a beautiful piece of choreography, and with gorgeous light and very arresting and evocative music, revealing themselves, it is such a privilege to be in the audience.
At that point, I would like to be [in the] audience; I don't want to be onstage. And then [mockingly] you can cry, you know, if you want to. Don't say it like that! Some people cry, some people don't, you know. Sometimes I do, too. Like when I see film of myself at age 8, you know, dancing — "Who is this child? I looked at my watch: Someone said to me there could never have been anyone else like you on the dance scene because you were a unique talent at a unique point in history. That you became — because of the defection, because of changes in the culture, because of changes in dance — a common point around which people could rally.
But the other day I was watching some young dancers here at the Centre, and I noticed that they were looking at their favourite dancers on YouTube.
It's rarer, I think, that people get together for the collective experience of watching people move, of watching human beings reveal themselves in person. Well, we live in the reality of the Internet. He was the greatest male dancer on the face of the earth. I remember working in the studio with a sense of being on a real journey with the teachers and coaches who gave their time freely to me. Advice to young dancers: Listen and look behind the surfaces of things.
Last Dance for Ballet's Tragic Prince | vlozodkaz.info
Look back in history. Look forward to hope and look beyond the mirror. I would have liked to have had the wisdom to keep my personal problems out of the work. The ballet can touch each one of us. It does this by having strict boundaries that encourage dancers to refine their sense of movement, while struggling towards expression, sort of like squeezing a tube of toothpaste from the bottom and waiting patiently for it to finally overflow at the top.
Ballet is surviving in the small towns of America, probably because parents send their children to learn something that they perceive will help them, like playing a musical instrument.
Whether this will survive in this modern world is certainly beyond my ability to answer. If there were money to support worthwhile artistic endeavors, rather than expecting them to generate money, maybe ballet at its best could survive.