Famed Soviet-American dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov will make a rare return to Toronto to perform in the Canadian premiere of BRODSKY / BARYSHNIKOV. Originally scheduled for one night only, the work is now running from January 24 through 28 at the Winter Garden Theatre.
Baryshnikov’s return to Toronto has emotional resonance for many Torontonians. It was in this Ontario capital that he defected in 1974, while on tour with the Marinsky Ballet. The Dance Current asked Baryshnikov about his time in Canada and he responded by highlighting his relationships within the ballet community.
There were many wonderful moments performing in Canada, but the memories that stay with me are the friendships I made. When I arrived in Toronto in 1974 my first impressions included the pleasure of being in the company of the National Ballet of Canada and Karen Kain, and meeting Betty Oliphant and Erik Bruhn. Everyone was so extraordinarily generous. I remain close with John Fraser and Jim Peterson — both are lifelong friendships.
Presented by One Show Productions, in association with Luminato Festival, BRODSKY / BARYSHNIKOV is an evening length solo performance. The work will not feature Baryshnikov’s signature leaps and turns, instead he will be interpreting the poems of Russian poet and Nobel laureate Joseph Brodsky. The work is a co-production between The New Riga Theatre and Baryshnikov Theatre and is directed by Latvian director of The New Riga Theatre, Alvin Hermanis.
The work highlights Baryshnikov’s compelling stage presence, as noted by critics. “It’s as if the language is a current of energy activating not just his mind but his entire body,” writes critic Charles Isherwood in The New York Times. “[Y]ou sense that he feels its presence inside him down to his fingertips.”
Learn more about Baryshnikov’s defection from Karen Kain via CBC’s The Strombo Show’s “Something You Might Not Know About Canada” series >> youtube.com/watch?v=dXRy1kLwC5c
Watch archival footage of Baryshnikov taking class with the National Ballet of Canada >> youtube.com/watch?v=OdsKx9_eptQ