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Baryshnikov and Hermanis team up for hometown show

Legendary Riga-born dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov will give the world premiere of a new show based on the poetry of Russian writer Joseph Brodsky later this year, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

Baryshnikov, who famously defected to the West in the 1970s, has been working on the show with renowned Latvian theater diector Alvis Hermanis and the result of their collaboration will be revealed on October 15 in Riga.

The spoken word event titled "Brodsky/Baryshnikov" will be given in Russian and seems guaranteed to become the hottest ticket of the year.

Baryshnikov, who was proudly listed as one of Riga's most famous sons in a special 'Born in Riga' concert last year, told the New York Times the new show will not be straight biography and instead will focus on Brodsky's poetry with elements of "body language".

“We are working on the text through Skype, which is new to me and which I’m enjoying,” Baryshnikov said.

Like Baryshnikov, Hermanis has also fallen foul of the authorities in Moscow, having been blacklisted in October 2014 from entering the country despite the runaway success of his current productions in the Russian capital.

Born in Riga in 1948 Baryshnikov began studying ballet at the age of nine and by 1969 was principal dancer of the Kirov Ballet.

In 1974, he left the Soviet Union to dance with major ballet companies around the world and established himself as one of the greatest and most innovative of modern dancers.

In 2005, he opened the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York as a creative home for local and international artists to develop and present work.

He also found a completely new audience as a character in the popular TV series Sex & The City while continuing his work in theater.


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