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chauffeur

Baryshnikov solo tour

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Forgive me if there's a thread for this elsewhere, but I haven't found one. Has anyone gone to the Baryshnikov solo show? We have tickets for one coming up and I'm curious to know what we can expect. The publicity stills certainly show signs of something special in his dancing.

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I didn't see it this time around, although I've seen several of Baryshnikov's recent ventures. Sometimes people who are expecting to see a ballet star are disappointed -- he's doing modern dance, and very contemporary modern dance. But with a dancer of Baryshnikov's calibre, IMO, he's interesting to watch no matter what he's doing.

I hope you'll post, if you go, and thank you for giving me a legitimate excuse to post a link to DanceViewWest, where Ann Murphy reviews the current solo show and will give you an idea of what to expect.

http://www.danceviewwest.com/reviews/baryshnikov1.html

If anyone has seen it, please post -- and I'm going to move this thread to the Dance forum, so please come on down :innocent:

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What a marvelously intelligent review that is! Thank you for the link!

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Thank you, chauffeur! I was rather fond of that one myself :innocent: (It's by Ann Murphy, one of the many excellent critics in the San Francisco Bay area.) I hope it helped give you an idea of what the evening would be like -- and I hope you go and tell us about it.

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According to a letter I received from the Seattle Theater Group, Baryshnikov's Seattle performances have be re-scheduled to Tuesday, 9 March 2004 (for Friday, 17 October ticket holders) and Wednesday, 10 March 2004 (for Saturday, 18 October ticket holders.)

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Baryshnikov is back. His 2004 tour schedule is on Baryshnikov Dance Foundation site ( not sure how up-to-date it is!)

Baryshnikov Dance Foundation

January 23-24 War Memorial Auditorium, Holyoke, MA

January 27 The Flynn Center, Burlington, VT

January 30-31 Center for the Arts at University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY

February 7-8, 10-12 Theater Heilbronn, Heilbronn,Germany

February 17-18, 20-22 The Barbican Theatre, London, England

February 27 -28 The Gusman Center, Miami, FL

March 2, 4-7 UCLA Live, Los Angeles, CA

March 9-10 The Moore Theatre, Seattle, WA

March 13-16 Scottsdale Center for the Arts, Scottsdale, AZ

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And I just realized that I never posted a "review" after having seen Baryshnikov's solo show in July. Part of that was because, frankly, I was so overwhelmed by how thoroughly entertaining and thought-provoking a show it was, and I couldn't find words to describe it.

Our decision to buy tix had been pooh-poohed by a few dance-world types who advised us we'd be better off renting a video of his good old days. But they were wrong. It was a superb show and I am very glad we went and that we took our then-9-year-old dancer.

It is contemporary dance all the way, but this is one of the rare times that I've made it all the way through a contemporary dance performance without checking my watch or deciding that there were one or two of the pieces I could have done without. What I think distinguishes Baryshnikov's successful approach to contemporary dance are his classical training and his really intelligent acting ability. I wasn't expecting the latter to be as world-class as it is.

Watching Baryshnikov do modern is like reading a beautiful poem as written by someone with legible handwriting. This is where his classical training is so evident and appreciated -- and an especially great learning tool for a young dancer to see. It was soooo much easier to understand what he was trying to communicate because his technique is clean and strong. I mean, let's be real -- there's more than just a few modern dancers who embrace the form because they failed at classical, the result being illegible "handwriting."

And Baryshnikov's superb acting not only makes the dancing more accessible, but it also more than compensates for the inevitable diminishment of his physical genius. I honestly think he is now a more complete performer because he's relying on a much larger set of tools. He's also a more accessible and less intimidating performer now. The brilliance of old was awe-inspiring but I think it also put him on an isolating pedestal from his audience (not that this is a bad thing: awe is a cool thing to experience when watching someone perform). But what he's doing now at age 55 lets him get down from the pedestal and that, I think, makes it easier to "hear" what he's trying to say now about topics like growing old and being alone.

I hope others have found, or will find, the show to be as enjoyable.

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Thank you for your lovely review chauffeur

I saw Baryshnikov last summer at the Columbia festival for the Arts. And I think that at 55, Baryshnikov is still a virtuoso, he just demonstrates his masterly skill and technique in ways that no longer include gravity-defying leaps.

Yes I saw him when he was young and fabulous, now he is older and in many ways even more wonderful. His acting ability is truly amazing. His humor and the way he relates to an audience.

For me the two most beautiful dances were Opus One, choreographed by Lucinda Childs, music by Alban Berg, "Sonata, op. 1", and In a Landscape, choreographed by Cesc Gelabert, music by John Cage, "In a Landscape". In these two dances Baryshnikov danced with such fluidity and emotion, it was breathtaking. His technique is masterful, his extensions close to perfect. Opus One is full of contrasts sometimes soft and fluid other times hard and rigid. In a Landscape Baryshnikov does something that is very difficult to describe, parts of his body suddenly appear to not belong to him. His right arm is not his as his left hand uses it to wipe his brow. Or he looks at his leg as if wondering where it came from and how did it get there. Then his body becomes whole again and off he goes in to some wonderful turn or series of leaps across the stage.

I am so glad that he has been able to come back from surgery and is completing the tour.

A must see.

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chauffeur, thank you for posting this. I've been on 3 weeks of constant deadlines and missed this when it first went up but it is a lovely review. There's a great divide on Baryshnikov's new shows, as you've found -- some people go and are disappointed at what they aren't seeing (even though I don't see how anyone can go thinking they're going to see Don Q pas de deux!) and others are still mesmerized by him. You've caught why, very well. Thank you!

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Oh, garsh :wacko: , thanks! I'm more flustered, though, by the fact that I'm a journalist by trade and it was excrutiatingly hard for me to describe what I experienced that night. If I had been on deadline, I'd have been out of a job!

But experiences like that are so far and few between, I'd willingly go through another bout of writer's block to experience it again.

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