Mikhail Baryshnikov

Михаил Барышников

Choreographer, director, ballet dancer


The legend of classical dance of the 20th century was born on January 28, 1948, in Riga, where his father, a Soviet officer, was serving at that time. Mikhail's interest in creative professions was owed to his mother, who was well-educated, had a passion for and loved the arts. However, at the age of 12, after losing his mother, Baryshnikov practically lost his family - he wasn't loved in his new family with his father, and his relationship with his father himself, strict and authoritative, didn't develop from childhood. Fortunately, at that time, Baryshnikov was already in a choreographic school, and realizing that he could only rely on himself, he decided to dedicate his life and devote all his efforts to ballet. Initially, the teachers did not see great prospects in him, considering his short stature for classical ballet - but his incredible work ethic and perseverance, combined with talent, worked wonders. He not only acquired exquisite technique but also grew taller thanks to a set of exercises.

Baryshnikov completed his education in Leningrad, at the renowned Vaganova Academy, from where he went straight to the stage of the Kirov Ballet and Opera Theater, Mariinsky. He had everything - except creative freedom. In 1972, already a true star, he went on tour to Canada with the troupe. There, a fateful meeting took place: a friend who had left two years earlier persuaded Baryshnikov not to return to the USSR. His determination, perseverance, and talent played their part once again: Baryshnikov got everything he wanted. He became the principal dancer of the American Ballet Theatre (ABT), created his own projects, worked with the world's best choreographers, appeared in films - even earning nominations for the Oscars and Golden Globes - and remained a worldly person.