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Mikhail Baryshnikov

(1948 - 
“The essence of all art
Is to have pleasure
in giving pleasure.”
___Mikhail Baryshnikov
A most amazing dancer.  He could “hang a jump in the air.”  He defies gravity with every leap. Many consider abilities equal to or greater than Nijinsky & Nureyev.  Yet has been seen often in the lobby of his dance center chatting with visitors.  He seems to see young dancers as creative sparks rather than competitors.  There’s a scene in Don Quixote where he takes a 2nd bow due to audience applause.  An expression of humble sincere appreciation comes over him.  With alll his fame, he has not lost sight of humanity.  This quality makes him one of the greatest men of our time.
Mikhail Nikolaevich Baryshnikov was born 1948 in Rigda Latvia USSR.  He began ballet in 1960. In 1964, he entered the Vaganova School, St. Petersburg. In 1967 he joined the Kirov Ballet (now Mariinsky Theater.)  In 1974, he defected while on tour in Canada with the Bolshoi Ballet.. Since then he has danced for over a dozen different choreographers, with different styles, including Jerome Robbins, Glen Tetley, Alvin Ailey, and Twyla Tharp.  From 1974 to 1978, he was principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre (ABT), and worked with the New York City Ballet, with George Balanchine and as a regular guest artist with the Royal Ballet among other companies. 1980- 1989 he was with American Ballet Theatre as dancer and artistic director. From 1990 to 2002, Baryshnikov was artistic director of the White Oak Dance Project, a touring company he co-founded with Mark Morris. In 2005 he launched the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York.   He has also been in several films including The Turning Point and White Knights.
In 2006, he married Lisa Rinehart and has 4 children.
ABT Don Quixote, 1983, full version is long but well worth viewing.  When he jumps, count the number of dancers he flies past.
Above low quality but shows his best. Watch him jump
Above low quality but shows his best.
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