One new blog feature we’re adding on for 2018 is Famous Birthdays! Each month (maybe more than once a month!), we’re going to spotlight some of the world’s most talented dancers during their birthday month! You’ll get to know a little bit more about some of your favorites and, maybe, you’ll discover some NEW favorites! And who better to kick off the new year than the iconic Mikhail Baryshnikov!
Mikhail Baryshnikov was born on January 27th, 1948 in Riga, Latvia, to an engineer named Nikolay Baryshnikov and his dressmaker wife, Alexandra. At age 11 he began studying ballet and shortly thereafter, he entered the Vaganova School in St. Petersburg where he flourished as a top student and quickly became one of the strongest performers the instructors had seen. In 1974, Baryshnikov was on tour in Canada when he requested political asylum in Toronto, joined the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and announced that he would not return to the USSR. Soon, he began his role as a principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre where he remained until 1978 and then danced with the New York City Ballet until 1979.
After his run in New York, Baryshnikov returned to the American Ballet Theatre, taking on the position of Artistic Director for nearly a decade. He became a naturalized citizen of the United States on July 3, 1986 and founded a touring company shortly thereafter called the White Oak Dance Project (1990-2002). In 2005, he launched the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York. Today, Baryshnikov performs only occasion while he works behind the scenes on numerous projects. His name is synonymous which that of “iconic” and “legend”. His talent and work is celebrated around the world and rediscovered everyday by new generations.
From all of us at Plainfield Dance Academy:
Happy Birthday, Mikhail Baryshnikov!