Spotlight On… Legendary Dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov

Legendary dancer and Sex And The City star Mikhail Baryshnikov, will be performing in the UK premiere of Brodsky/Baryshnikov at London’s West End Apollo Theatre for a limited run this May. You can book tickets here: Brodsky/Baryshnikov

Found somewhere between a play, a poetry recital and a piece of performance art, Brodsky/Baryshnikov is Baryshnikov’s nostalgic tribute to his once dear friend, Nobel laureate Joseph Brodsky. The production is an emotional journey deep into the poet’s visceral and complex compositions.

Conceived and directed by Alvis Hermanis, this is a co-production between The New Riga Theatre and Baryshnikov Productions.

Here is an exclusive interview with Mikhail…

Thanks for talking to Break A Leg, it’s a privilege to be able to feature you, here. Tell me, how does the piece reach out to you whilst you are performing it? What feelings does it evoke?

It’s just me and Joseph’s poems. I mainly wanted to be honest and true to Joseph’s work. That’s the thing, his work is extraordinarily relevant to the present. I try to be truthful to myself and to be as truthful as I can to my friend.

What are your most memorable moments from time spent with your late friend?

I first met Joseph Brodsky at a dinner party in New York in 1974. After the dinner, we went to a café in Greenwich Village. Apart from the joy of meeting and befriending a great poet, Joseph’s appearance in my life meant guidance, in everything from simple everyday matters to bigger moral issues. It was more than 50 years ago when I first read Joseph’s poems and they hit me hard. Truth and grace in words.

Was it easy to translate from page to stage?

In this business – the theatre business, nothing is easy – especially with poetry.

What do you hope the audience will take away from the production?

The play is an intimate experience – a conversation between me, and my beloved friend – and so I hope they can feel included in that intimacy.

How does the space lend itself to the piece?

The set is a beautifully decrepit glass winter garden from the turn of the 20th century. I think it captures the quiet introspection and pensive mood of the play perfectly.

What would you say to encourage people to buy a ticket?

It isn’t a dance show, and it isn’t a narrative, but if they are curious about Joseph’s work and my reactions to it, then they may be interested. It takes an open mind.

I’d like to extend my thanks to Mikhail for his time and wish him a successful run.

 

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