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Dancer, choreographer, and actor

 Mikhail Baryshnikov was born on January 27, 1948 in Riga.
He has attended Riga Choreography School, the class of Nina Leontyeva and Juris Kaprālis. These teachers helped Mikhail lay the the foundation for his superlative ballet technique. At the tender age of 15 Barishnikov entered Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) Vaganov Choreography School and was taught by Alexander Pushkin. Baryshnikov is a Gold Medalist at two international ballet competitions – Varna (1966) and Moscow (1969).
During Leningrad’s Kirov Opera and Ballet Theatre (the famous Marinsky Theatre) tour through Canada in 1974, Baryshnikov decided to stay in Canada and later moved to USA. Baryshnikov’s talent earned him lead roles in the productions of the greatest choreographers of the 20th century – Bejart, Petit and others. Baryshnikov became one of the distinguished American ballet dancers. Baryshnikov joined the American Ballet Theater between 1974 and 1978, then during 1978-79 worked with George Balanchine’s New York City Ballet, and became the director, soloist and artistic director of the American Ballet Theatre from 1980 to 1989. During this period, Baryshnikov directed the production of ‘Nutcracker’, ‘Don Quixote’, ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Swan Lake’. And from 1990 to 2002 he was head of the White Oak Dance Project Dance Company.
Baryshnikov ended his stage career in 2002 due to the necessity of spending more time with his family.
He teamed up with Oleg Vidov, another former Soviet actor who emigrated to USA, to dedicate his efforts to the schooling of children, popularizing of Russian cartoons in America, in a project called ‘Mikhail Baryshnikov: Stories of My Childhood’.
Mikhail Baryshnikov has starred in numerous motion and television pictures, e.g. ”Fiesta” (1972), “White Nights” (1985), “This is a Dance” (1985), “Dancers” (1988), “Dinosaurs” (1990), “Cabinet of Dr. Ramirez” (1991), TV series “Sex and the City” (2003).
Baryshnikov has also participated in numerous popular TV programs like “Baryshnikov on Broadway” (1980), “Baryshnikov in Hollywood” (1982), “Baryshnikov: Dance and Dancer” (1987), as well as Broadway Theater production “Metamorphosis” (1989).
He is a winner of the Emmy Prize.
Mikhail Baryshnikov filled in the role of Don Quixote in Riga in 1974, and in 1997 gave a charity concert in the Latvian National Opera.
Source: www.kultura.lv
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