Joseph Brodsky, an awardee of the Nobel Prize in Literature, held a friendship with Mikhail Baryshnikov for 22 years, up until the poet's death in 1996. The two will meet again on the stage in a production by Alvis Hermanis.
In this theatrical adventure, Baryshnikov will be interpreting Brodsky's poetry. Hermanis and Baryshnikov will lead the viewers into an imaginary landscape of Brodsky's complex, lyrical and punchy play of words. Brodsky/Baryshnikov will reveal the world of the poet in Brodsky's native Russian with text and movement.
"This will not be a completely normal theater staging. It is more akin to a spiritist séance. We lead our everyday lives in a horizontal plane or dimension. This theater offers to spend a few hours only in the vertical dimension, when the viewer is confronted only with the big questions," Hermanis described the play.
Mikhail Baryshnikov stressed: "This project is important to us. Alvis is heading into unknown territory, which he always does - else, why bother? We are both looking forward to the meeting with the viewers."
The scenographer of the play is Kristīne Jurjāne, while Gļebs Fiļštinskis is the lighting designer. The New Riga Theatre is staging the play in collaboration with the Baryshnikov Productions company. The event is in Russian with subtitles in Latvian.
An exclusive LSM's Russian-language service interview with Mikhail Baryshnikov is in the works and is set to appear on the English-language service today.