15 Interesting Facts About the Great Dancer, Mikhail Baryshnikov

  1. Mikhail Baryshnikov was born on January 28, 1948 in Riga, Latvia. During his lifetime, he has lived in and had citizenship in the Soviet Union (1948-1974), Canada (1974-1986), and the United States (1986-present).
  2. Mikhail’s childhood years were very difficult, dealing with a military father he didn’t get along with.
  3. At the age of 16, Mikhail started training with Alexander Pushkin at the Vaganova Choreographic Institute.
  4. In 1966 he received his first honor by winning a gold medal in the Varna, Bulgaria dance competition.
  5. In 1967 he made his stage debut in his first ballet.
  6. In 1969 he won another gold medal at the First International Ballet Competition in Moscow.
  7. In the 1960’s Mikhail was a very experienced and respected dancer in the Soviet Union, but sadly he did not feel the same about his country. He chose to defect from the Soviet Union to the U.S. in the hopes of having better opportunities and more creative freedom.
  8. Because of his perfect technical skills and emotional expressiveness, he was able to work with the American Ballet Theatre until 1978. Soon after he became their artistic director.
  9. Ballet was not Mikhail’s only love. He starred in several movies in the 1970’s and 1980’s, such as The Turning Point, with Anne Bancroft and Shirley MacLaine and White Knights, with dancing great Gregory Hines.
  10. Mikhail won 2 Emmy awards for television dance specials. These, along with his movies opportunities brought his new fans into the world of ballet.
  11. In the 1990’s, Mikhail left the American Ballet Theatre to start something new called the White Oak Dance Project with friend Mark Morris.   This project was a shift toward avant-garde or contemporary dance, which is a passion of his.
  12. In 2004 he opened the Baryshinikov Arts Center in New York City. This facility was created to be a gathering place for artists of all kind. It includes a theater and a performance space as well as studios and offices to use for different creative endeavors.
  13. All of these adventures in his life lead him to be recognized for a lifetime of extraordinary achievement at the Kennedy Center Honor Awards in December 2000.
  14. This amazing man also has continued to dance into his 50’s and 60’s, despite knee troubles from his career.
  15. Mikhail Baryshnikov was truly one of the best dancers of the 20th century.

If you would like to be the next great dancer, register for lessons at the Omaha School of Music and Dance today!  https://www.omahaschoolofmusicanddance.com/ballet-classes-leap-n-learn-ages-6-9-omaha-ne/




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