47 Facts About Mikhail Baryshnikov


Mikhail Nikolayevich Baryshnikov is a Latvian-American dancer, choreographer, and actor.


Mikhail Baryshnikov was the preeminent male classical dancer of the 1970s and 1980s.


Mikhail Baryshnikov then returned to the American Ballet Theatre, where he later became artistic director.


Mikhail Baryshnikov has spearheaded many of his own artistic projects and has been associated in particular with promoting modern dance, premiering dozens of new works, including many of his own.


Mikhail Baryshnikov has never returned to Russia since his 1974 defection and has been a naturalized citizen of the United States since 1986.


Mikhail Baryshnikov was born in Riga, then Latvian SSR, Soviet Union, now Latvia.


Mikhail Baryshnikov's parents were Russians: Alexandra and Nikolay Baryshnikov.


Mikhail Baryshnikov began his ballet studies in Riga in 1960, at the age of 12.


Mikhail Baryshnikov soon won the top prize in the junior division of the Varna International Ballet Competition.


Mikhail Baryshnikov joined the Mariinsky Ballet, then called the Kirov Ballet, in 1967, dancing the "Peasant" pas de deux in Giselle.


Mikhail Baryshnikov made signature roles of Jakobson's 1969 virtuosic Vestris along with an intensely emotional Albrecht in Giselle.


On June 29,1974, in Toronto while on tour with the Bolshoi, Mikhail Baryshnikov defected, requesting political asylum in Canada.


Mikhail Baryshnikov announced that he would not return to the USSR.


Mikhail Baryshnikov later said that Christina Berlin, an American friend, helped engineer his defection during his 1970 tour of London.


Mikhail Baryshnikov's first televised performance after coming out of temporary seclusion in Canada was with the National Ballet of Canada in La Sylphide.


From 1974 to 1978, Mikhail Baryshnikov was a principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre, where he partnered with Gelsey Kirkland.


In 1978, Mikhail Baryshnikov abandoned his freelance career to spend 18 months as a principal of the New York City Ballet, run by George Balanchine.


Mikhail Baryshnikov performed with the New York City Ballet as a principal dancer for 15 months from 1978 to 1979.


On October 12,1979, Mikhail Baryshnikov danced the role of the Poet in Balanchine's ballet La Sonnambula with the City Ballet at the Kennedy Center.


Mikhail Baryshnikov left the company to become ABT's artistic director in September 1980, and take time off for his injuries.


Mikhail Baryshnikov returned to the American Ballet Theatre in September 1980 as an artistic director, a position he held until 1989.


From 1990 to 2002, Mikhail Baryshnikov was artistic director of the White Oak Dance Project, a touring company he co-founded with Mark Morris.


Mikhail Baryshnikov was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1999.


In 2003, Mikhail Baryshnikov won the Prix Benois de la Danse for lifetime achievement.


Mikhail Baryshnikov has received three honorary degrees: on May 11,2006, from New York University; on September 28,2007, from Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah University; and on May 23,2008, from Montclair State University.


In late August 2007, Mikhail Baryshnikov performed Mats Ek's Place with Ana Laguna at Dansens Hus in Stockholm.


Mikhail Baryshnikov has performed in Israel three times: in 1996, with the White Oak Dance Project at the Roman theater in Caesarea; in 2010, with Ana Laguna; and in 2011, starring in nine performances of In Paris, a show after a short story by Ivan Bunin, at the Suzanne Dellal Center in Tel Aviv.


Mikhail Baryshnikov made his American television dancing debut in 1976, on the PBS program In Performance Live from Wolf Trap.


The Nutcracker has been presented on TV many times in many different versions, but Mikhail Baryshnikov's version is one of only two to be nominated for an Emmy Award.


Mikhail Baryshnikov performed in two Emmy-winning television specials, one on ABC and one on CBS, in which he danced to music from Broadway and Hollywood, respectively.


Mikhail Baryshnikov has appeared on several telecasts of the Kennedy Center Honors.


Mikhail Baryshnikov performed in his first film role soon after arriving in New York.


Mikhail Baryshnikov portrayed the character Yuri Kopeikine, a famous, womanizing Russian ballet dancer, in the 1977 film The Turning Point, for which he received an Oscar nomination.


Mikhail Baryshnikov co-starred with Gregory Hines and Isabella Rossellini in the 1985 film White Nights, choreographed by Twyla Tharp, and was featured in the 1987 film Dancers.


Mikhail Baryshnikov co-starred in Company Business with Gene Hackman.


Mikhail Baryshnikov hosted the show, presenting his favorite folktales, including Beauty and the Beast: A Tale of the Crimson Flower, The Snow Queen, The Last Petal and The Golden Rooster.


Mikhail Baryshnikov appears, uncredited, in the 2014 film Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit as Interior Minister Sorokin.


Mikhail Baryshnikov's breakthrough performance in Broadway was in 1989, when he played Gregor Samsa in Metamorphosis, an adaption of Franz Kafka's novel.


In 2004, Mikhail Baryshnikov appeared in Forbidden Christmas or The Doctor And The Patient at New York City's Lincoln Center, and in 2007 in Beckett Shorts at New York Theatre Workshop.


Mikhail Baryshnikov then appeared in the stage adaptation of Anton Chekhov's Man in a Case.


Mikhail Baryshnikov has had a long-term relationship with former ballerina Lisa Rinehart.


Mikhail Baryshnikov told Larry King in 2002 that he did not "believe in marriage in the conventional way", but he and Rinehart married in 2006.


Mikhail Baryshnikov endorsed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for president in 2016.


On July 3,1986, Mikhail Baryshnikov became a naturalized citizen of the United States.


Mikhail Baryshnikov wrote that the decision was based on memories of his first 16 years living in Latvia, which provided the basis for the rest of his life.


In March 2022, together with economist Sergei Guriev and writer Boris Akunin, Mikhail Baryshnikov announced the formation of the True Russia foundation to support victims of the war in Ukraine.


Mikhail Baryshnikov condemned the Russian invasion and wrote an open letter to Vladimir Putin slamming his "world of fear".