Great Russian Artists – Mikhail Baryshnikov

Russian ballet is one of the arts that achieved an exceptional development in Russia. The greatest dancers were born in this area. The historical theatres that serve as trainers of these great artists are located there. For example, on your tour in Moscow, you will be able to visit the famous Bolshoi Theatre, and on your trip to St. Petersburg, the Mariinsky Theatre, just to name two of them. One of the greatest representatives of Russian ballet is undoubtedly dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov.

This brilliant Russian ballet dancer, Mikhail Baryshnikov, was born in Latvia during the Soviet Union era. Besides being a dancer, “Misha”, as he is called, is a choreographer and even an actor. He has been called “the best dancer in the world” because of the perfection of his movements and his personal and unique style.

At the age of eleven Mikhail Baryshnikov became interested in ballet, and was accepted into the Riga Opera House Ballet School in 1960. Gradually his interest increased, and his talent began to emerge.

During a visit to St. Petersburg, (Leningrad in the Soviet Union), he applied for admission to the Academai Vagánova de Ballet, where he was admitted. There he was taught by Aleksandr Pushkin. The latter had previously been the teacher of the famous Rudolf Nuréyev. After finishing his studies, he joined the Kirov Ballet in 1966. Contrary to what is customary and thanks to his great talent, his debut was as a soloist and not in the corps de ballet. It was in the play Giselle. After that the awards and recognitions would begin to come, like the gold medal in the international competition of ballet of Varna in Bulgaria. Then he would play the first role specially choreographed for him: Oleg Vinográdov in the play Goryanka. The awards followed. Along with his personal growth (he was paired with the famous dancer Irina Kolpakova), there followed an increase in his performances and also in his professional aspirations.

This situation led Mikhail Baryshnikov to leave the Soviet Union in order to work with Western artists whom he admired. He settled in the United States and there he continued his career as a dancer, choreographer and also as an actor. He founded his arts center there in 2004.

His “brave and masculine” style makes him one of the greatest dancers of his time and of the history of Russia.


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