Mikhail Baryshnikov was born on 27th January, 1948 in Riga, Latvia. He is famous for dancing throughout the world. His dance is the sublime vision. Mikhail Nikolaevitch Baryshnikov began his ballet studies in 1960. He studied in Vaganova School the then Leningrad with Aleksander Pushkin. He won the top prize in the junior division of the international Varna Competition. His teacher described him as “the most perfect dancer I have ever seen”.
He made his debut at Maryinsky theatre where he danced the ‘peasant’ pas de deux in Giselle, in the group Kirov Ballet. A new instrument unique for new dancing was recognized by choreographers in Baryshnikov and Konstantin Sergeye, Leonid Jakobson, Igor Tchernichov, and Oleg Vinogradov made ballets for him. In 1969, Jakobsons vestries, the feast that involved virtuosity and wit, came to be Baryshnikov's signature alongside his intense emotional Albrech in Giselle.
In 1974, Baryshnikov driven by his zeal to search for personal and artistic freedom defected from the Soviet Union. The same year, he made his debut with the American Ballet Theatre where he danced Giselle with Natalia Makarova. For four years, he remained with the American Ballet theatre expanding his horizons and knowledge, as well as defining a new role including male dancing explorations. He staged the production of Don Quixote, Cinderella, and Nutcracke while he was with the American Ballet Theatre.
He left American Ballet Theatre in 1978 and joined the New York City Ballet. While in the New York City Ballet, he worked with Jerome Robbins and George Balanchine. In 1980, Baryshnikov retuned to American Ballet Theater as the principal dancer and the artistic director.
He became a naturalized American citizen. For a decade, his explorations in art increased tremendously. He performed dances with Erick Hawkins and Merce Cunningham in the play Metamorphosis on Broadway, and also White Nights, The Turning Point, and Dancers on screen, glittering galas for Martha Graham and Paul Taylor, Emmy Award, won television specials with Liza Minnell and Twyla Tharp.
In 1990, he partnered with Mark Morris and created the White Oak Project. This was a unique dance company that reflected Baryshnikov's zeal for modern dance that included unique changes of the paragon of the Russian ballet modeling it into a perfect American dance.
While in America, he reflected on the life of a dancer, and he wrote, ‘‘I have been very lucky to work in so many new ballets, but that is what a dancer's work is, '' he wrote in the 1978 Baryshnikov At Work. He compared challenges experience in dancing and diversified choreographies to challenges of learning new languages.
The more one gets involved in, the more freedom one gains from it. Everything gave him freedom. He has danced to his own heartbeat, his silence, Dmitri Shostakovich and Philips Glass, Tchaikovsky and Adam, to Frank Sinatra and Duke Ellington. He was the ideal Prince Siegfried and Albrecht. He also stood out as modern and post-modern sensibilities, teacher and choreographer as well as a company director. He is Mikhail Baryshnikov, the dancer indeed.
http://www.kennedy-center.org/explorer/artists/?entity_id=3693&source_type=A retrieved on March 21st 2014.
Mikhail Baryshnikov (Russian-American dancer) - Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Britannica.com. Retrieved on March 21st 2014.