Baryshnikov: In Black And White

Baryshnikov: In Black And White

  • Publish Date: 2002-05-03
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Author: Mikhail Baryshnikov
Bloomsbury USA
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The only collection of photographs documenting the last three decades of Mikhail Baryshnikov's brilliant career.

Universally acknowledged as the most celebrated artist in the dance world (Time magazine proclaimed him 'the greatest living dancer') Mikhail Baryshnikov's defection from the Soviet Union in 1974, at the age of twenty-six, breathed new artistic freedom into an already astonishing career. Working with American Ballet Theatre (where he was Artistic Director for ten years), the New York City Ballet (with George Ballanchine), and finally forming his own company in 1990 with Mark Morris, White Oak Dance Project, Baryshnikov has, over these past decades, changed the face of dance.

Baryshnikov in Black and White presents, in over 175 photographs, the remarkable breadth of his achievement between the years 1974 and 2000. From his legendary roles in the classic ballets Giselle and Don Quixote, to his work with some of the world's greatest contemporary choreographers, Baryshnikov is shown here in both rehearsal and performance. Captured by the leading dance photographers, his vitality and genius are evident on every page. With an inspired and richly detailed essay by the New Yorker dance critic (and Baryshnikov biographer) Joan Acocella, a complete chronology of his roles, and extensive annotated captions, Baryshnikov in Black and White is the definitive book on his remarkable career in the West.

From the moment of his first, spectacular North American appearance--in 1974, at the age of 26--Mikhail Baryshnikov was viewed as one of ballet's great virtuosos. But few could guess that his experimental spirit would lead him from princely roles in the classics to trailblazing collaborations with modern dance choreographers. Baryshnikov in Black and White reveals key moments of the dancer's artistic evolution from 1974 to 2000 in more than 175 starkly expressive black-and-white photographs. Glimpses of performances with American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, and the White Oak Dance Project join a few well-chosen studio rehearsal shots. They demonstrate Baryshnikov's enormous range, from the classical purity of Apollo to the improvisational HeartBeat: mb, from partnering Natalia Makarova to partnering a folding chair. Joan Acocella's introduction deftly and authoritatively sketches the dancer's career. Unfortunately, Robert Greskovic's annotated captions are segregated from the photos, requiring constant paging back and forth. --Cathy Curtis

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