The dancer-photographer tells about the value of yoga and fitness, about his new books on photography and he discusses his passion towards portraying the best moments in global modern dance.
Mr. Baryshnikov left the Soviet Union in 1974, and since then he has lived mostly in the United States. He is famous for contributing and working for the New York City Ballet and the American Ballet Theatre, where he also served as an artistic director between 1980 and 1989. Since its creation the Baryshnikov Dance Foundation has been a major promoter and incubator of modern dance.
For many years Mikhail Baryshnikov has magnetized audiences with his dancing. At the same time, his creative journey have taken him well beyond the world of ballet—into sophisticated social circles, international ad campaigns and a stunning assortment of film, theater and television roles. His passion for music derives from his family heritage and he can surprise you by playing his favorite Frank Sinatra songs on his Grand Steinway or by dancing to the tunes of this legendary jazz guru.
M. Baryshnikov believes that Yoga brings lightness as opposed to darkness and that yoga and gym exercise are important for everyday wellbeing:
“I do dance class every day, but now I’ve also started to do yoga and gym, just to get my muscle tone and especially my torso a bit more in tune. I feel lighter. I don’t drink milk, and I don’t eat bread, pasta or rice. But I eat a lot of meat, chicken, fish and salads.
”We would not ask Mr. Baryshnikov what kind of Yoga he practices because we assume that his “fitness/yoga program” might be as kickass and unique as his own personality.
Recently, Mr. Baryshnikov has put more of his talent and creative energy into photography, which has resulted in his solo exhibition “Dance This Way,” and a few books. For the first time, he displayed a solo exhibition of photographs of dancers from around the world, in Miami’s Gary Nader Art Centre in 2012.
You might be inquiring about what would drive such an accomplished dancer, a movie star, an administrator and choreographer to try to become a serious photographer?
“Interesting question,” said Mikhail in one of his interviews, “Quatrième Jeunesse (a fourth youth)? To reassure myself that I’m still interested in dance? When I’m photographing this, I’m falling in love again with the dance.”
Well , good luck and Happy Birthday to you.