drb

Mikhail Baryshnikov on Charlie Rose

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Just saw this announcement from Playbill:

Mikhail Baryshnikov will be the feature guest on The Charlie Rose Show tomorrow (March 2) night on PBS.

Rose will devote the entire hour to a wide-ranging conversation with Baryshnikov.

The Charlie Rose Show generally airs at 11 p.m. Eastern time; check local listings.

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I am so glad I saw this notice in time for the broadcast, usually I don't find out something interesting is scheduled until it is too late.

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Just saw this announcement from Playbill:

Mikhail Baryshnikov will be the feature guest on The Charlie Rose Show tomorrow (March 2) night on PBS.

Rose will devote the entire hour to a wide-ranging conversation with Baryshnikov.

The Charlie Rose Show generally airs at 11 p.m. Eastern time; check local listings.

Thank you SO MUCH for posting this. I do watch Mr. Rose's program most nights, but lately my local PBS station has been pre-empting for ubiquitous pre-taped Pledge programs not half as interesting! :clapping:

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The telecast just ended and was extraordinary. Mr. Rose even gave Mr. Baryshnikov the chance to complete his thoughts. A quick look at tomorrow's programming shows no repeat broadcast on either local NYC station on Saturday.

As he traced through his career he made it clear that his short time at NYCB was the peak, and displayed his greatest love for Balanchine, Robbins, and Kirstein (and of course, earlier, for his teacher Pushkin-- as he spoke about great teaching). He said NYCB was his home, immensely moreso than the Mariinsky. He felt sure that his Hell's Kitchen project will be his last stop, "but who the hell knows?" He told much about his decisions while running ABT, and lit up when speaking about his White Oak time with Mark Morris. He felt there would never be another Nureyev, whom he greatly admired and respected.

No gossip, all substance.

Hope you can see it. These Rose shows do seem to find their way to video quickly.

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Charlie Rose's site offers (print) transcripts that may be ordered via the site or by phone. They cost about $10 delivered by e-mail, but a lot more via snail mail.

http://www.charlierose.com/

I noticed that Amazon had his Wendy Whelan interview on dvd less than half a year after it was aired. A more recent program was ready in two weeks. But not all programs seem to go to dvd.

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The telecast just ended and was extraordinary. Mr. Rose even gave Mr. Baryshnikov the chance to complete his thoughts.
:) Yes! Incredible but, for the most part, true. There were a few topics he seemed intent on milking beyond Baryshnikov's (or my) interest, but in those instances, the subject ably took command.

In particular, I was struck by Misha's remark that one of the lessons he picked up at NYCB was a sense of ethics of the theater. Had I been the interviewer, I like to think I'd have been quick enough to have him amplify that answer.

Also, his decision to be a dollar-a-year man as ABT AD, motivated, he said, so that any mistakes he may have made, people could not say the board was wasting its money on his pay. Of course, the productions themselves were more than $1. Whatever became of "Murder", anyway?

Rose was more than a little astonished at Baryshnikov's expression of displeasure while watching films of his own dancing. He clearly is not familiar with the relentless self criticism that is part of what makes great dancers great.

Speaking of his defection, he said a mutual friend had relayed a note from Makarova that said simply, "Call me if I can help." He called, and within two days all arrangements were set for his escape. As it turned out, he had to run a few blocks in the rain to evade his KGB watchers AND some fans.

Throughout the interview, his face changed with each story he told. He was obviously not speaking of things that happened many years ago. He lives them still.

His continuing devotion to his art was very moving. It doesn't have the obsessive-compulsive urgency that Nureyev seemed to have, nor the ego glorification. His modesty is sincere, while he still acknowledges that he was endowed with extraordinary talent.

Oh, and he finally admitted. A short adolescent, he and his teachers feared he might not attain the 5'7" minimum required for a classical male dancer in the Kirov. He just, just barely made it.

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A very interesting interview. It was nice to hear him acknowledge that he got the opportunity to dance with two of the greatest dancers - Natalia Makarova and Gelsey Kirkland.

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The Friday Charlie Rose show usually repeats Monday afternoon (one-ish, usually).

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The Friday Charlie Rose show usually repeats Monday afternoon (one-ish, usually).

Looking at the future listings on The NY Times site, there will not be a recast, instead a Jerry Lee Lewis Special. The Times's search for the specific Baryshnikov program gives a couple on the 5th on Ch. 715; that may be 13's HD station?

BUT, Charlie Rose's site above is right now giving full-length telecasts of Monday's through Thursday's shows

(including the Mark Morris/James Levine Opera/Ballet one). Perhaps Friday's will follow?

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I can only echo that it was a truly extraordinary hour of television. Misha did the world of dance, and himself, proud. This program demands to be seen more than once.

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Although I had read that this program would take place and was definitely planning on tuning in, my daughter called me from the East Coast (at 12:30 a.m. her time) to let me know it would be on and it was REALLY good. I watched, of course, and agreed that it was really good. I too was impressed by his recollection of the time at NYCB, as I had always got the impression that he left so soon because it didn't work out well for him -- for me at least, this interview set that part of the record straight.

I felt like Charlie Rose actually had not done adequate preparation for the interview. I feel like the whole defection thing has been hashed over ad naseum, and he could have just let that part be and asked more about what he was currently working on in connection with his new center. A lot of the questions Rose was asking, I could easily anticipate the answers, because most of those things Baryshnikov has covered in other interviews or I've read in other places I don't have specific questions that I felt Rose should ask, but I would've liked to hear things that I hadn't already heard from another source. It was nice seeing parts of the building that I haven't seen before, and I wouldn't have minded seeing more. I've only been in the lobby and outside (in the rain), so I wish they could've taken the tv audience on more of a tour.

I LOVED the fact that as a person who dancers are (understandably) so in awe of, that he was totally in awe of the fact that he got to perform at the White House. I think it is really good for our students to see that he has great respect for his opportunities, and that he is not at all cocky about them.

I also loved his comments about "knowing" people by their movement quality or the timbre of their voice, not by their name or address, necessarily.

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regarding repeats of this prog. at least in the NYC area, one friend who follows these things far better than i do notes that this monday is the start of a pledge week and thus there is no counting on a repeat.

but that's just her educated opinion, i don't know that she knows it won't repeat hereabouts.

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What with the bad luck of this being pledge week and hence the need to show Jerry Lee Lewis rather than a Misha recast, I'll try to recall a bit more.

Regarding Rudolph Nureyev: He was, as a defector, a non-person(Brezhnev era) when Misha was a student, and even saying his name was dangerous. It wasn't till he'd been with Pushkin for a couple of years (Misha near age 19) that Pushkin even spoke the name to him. He then had a chance to see video (film?) of Nureyev and was very unimpressed, as RN was "sloppy" and Misha felt his own technique was far better. It wasn't till when he was in the West, circa '75-'76, and saw Nureyev live that he "got" it. The charisma. That, "like Pavlova", there would not be another Nureyev. They got to know and respect each other, but Nureyev was displeased that Baryshnikov would not dance his choreography. Misha explained to him that it was not suited to his style. (His rethinking Nureyev when seeing him live, and his own displeasure on seeing himself on film, might give us pause when we judge a dancer on the basis of a video.)

While touring the building Mr. Rose noticed all the photography hanging on the walls. "All yours?" "Yes." Baryshnikov explained that it is a real passion for him. They looked together at a new book of Baryshnikov's photography. They paid special attention to a photograph of Richard Avedon, hanging on the wall, taken a couple of weeks before he passed on.

When explaining why he was not a choreographer, Mr. Baryshnikov pointed to "up there", then recognising that contradicted his earlier profession of atheism, tapped a place just above his heart, explaining that a kind of god lived in there but died when one died.

He did not like making movies, partly because it was harder than dancing, the 5 AM - 11 PM hours. Originally he was hired as a dancer for Turning Point, no words. But really enjoyed working in Sex in the City.

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Thank you drb!

It was interesting to hear Baryshnikov talk about ABT being limited by not having a school, when it was he who closed down the school ABT had. I wonder what the thinking was... we need a school but better nothing than this? Or, if you're not going to put more money behind the school, we might as well abandon it? Was there ever much said about the closing that could be repeated here? Would one say he's come full circle... starting at school and finishing by starting a school?

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I do watch Charlie Rose' show pretty frequently, and am ever grateful I received the "heads-up" in time to view the program last Friday despite all--my local PBS station has been pre-empting CR for stupid pledge programs this past week.

As usual, I was astonished by the lack of research his staff does when ballet is the topic, which leaves CR asking foolish questions, or not asking more relevant ones, or forgetting simple facts like the first 'Hollywood' film Baryshnikov did was "Turning Point" for which he (MB) was nominated for a supporting actor Oscar (!), and director Herbert Ross' wife Nora Kaye was a former ABT dancer.

Also, it was good to hear about Pushkin's influence, but I think far too much time was spent on Russia, and not enough on the future developments, collaborations, educational projects at the new BDF Arts Center.

RE: Baryshnikov's tenure as AD of ABT, and his successes or failures, the fact that he promoted many corps members who went on to fame (if not always fortune): e.g. Susan Jaffe (also given an hour-long interview on CR), Cheryl Yeager, Robert LaFosse, Cynthia Harvey, Elaine Kudo etc. etc. etc.--were never mentioned in the interview, (or Charles France either). And I always thought their success was something he could be proud of too.

I didn't know the school was closed specifically at his request, I had always thought there were monetary issues too.

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He also spoke of the director Taylor Hackford persuading him to do "White Nights."

It was indeed an excellent and engrossing interview. I didn't regard the discussion of the defection, say, as a rehash, although I'm sure it was for Baryshnikov. The show is aimed at a general audience and thirty years have passed; a generation has grown up since then.

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As usual, I was astonished by the lack of research his staff does when ballet is the topic, which leaves CR asking foolish questions, or not asking more relevant ones, or forgetting simple facts like the first 'Hollywood' film Baryshnikov did was "Turning Point" for which he (MB) was nominated for a supporting actor Oscar (!), and director Herbert Ross' wife Nora Kaye was a former ABT dancer.
or that Ross, too, was a ballet dancer before he was a movie maker.
Also, it was good to hear about Pushkin's influence, but I think far too much time was spent on Russia, and not enough on the future developments, collaborations, educational projects at the new BDF Arts Center.
I suspect Baryshnikov would have agreed with you there, as do I.

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The School of Classical Ballet was funded soley by Mr. Baryshnikov. After his resignation the school remained opened only until December and then was closed. My memory is failing me, however I do remember my late husband, one of the faculty members, saying that there had not been any fundraising, therefore the school was dependent upon Mr. Baryshnikov.

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That was a very interesting interview.

I liked him sharing his memory of how awed he was when he performed at the White House for President Carter. His comment about telling the story of his defection so many times made it "quite boring" caused me to smile. And I liked his acknowledgment of being able to dance with two of the greatest dancers at ABT -- Natalia Makarova and Gelsey Kirkland.

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I also loved his comments about "knowing" people by their movement quality or the timbre of their voice, not by their name or address, necessarily.

So did I, especially since the first dancer he cited in this regard was Suzanne Farrell.

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The School of Classical Ballet was funded soley by Mr. Baryshnikov. After his resignation the school remained opened only until December and then was closed. My memory is failing me, however I do remember my late husband, one of the faculty members, saying that there had not been any fundraising, therefore the school was dependent upon Mr. Baryshnikov.

Was this that small group that was maintained after the earlier school had been closed? I know ABT had a school before Baryshnikov took over. I also remember a college classmate who went on to study with ABT during Baryshnikov's tenure as AD after the old school had closed. I never quite found out what these classes were, but it seemed to be a small number of students who were invited to study with the company... perhaps filling in when larger casts were needed? What was the School of Classical Ballet?

It was a little surprising how poorly Charlie Rose had been prepared for the interview... what on earth happened? Baryshnikov was remarkably eloquent despite the slightly inane queries... I wonder what was cut out of the interview...

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Christine Spizzo, a former ABT soloist, was interviewed by the late David Susskind, and despite his reputation as an interviewer for an "educational network", she found that his questions went to the middlebrow, or even just the fan-based audience. She was asked about Baryshnikov's ability as a partner, and Spizzo said, "What about it? Either he's there, or he's not. He's always there in performance, and usually in rehearsal." It seems that what Susskind wanted was fanmag gush about "what it feels like to have his hands all over you." Spizzo didn't budge. Good for her. Charlie Rose would seem to be a bit better than that, but not by much.

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The School was open I believe from 1987-1990 and had nothing to do with the previous school at ABT, nor the company. There were two female teachers, two male (only one boy's class) and one character teacher. All Russians, from Vaganova Academy and/or Kirov Ballet, living and working in NYC (one female and one male were also associated with the company in teaching and/or ballet master positions). There were to be no more than 12 students in each class, making it a total of 36 students. The students ranged from ages 12-14. There was no tuition, no housing and the students attended Professional Children's School for academics. They auditioned all over the country, were video taped for Mr. Baryshnikov to see and select personally. There was a thriving summer course, with space for only 36 students. They studied technique, partnering, character, stage work and with the plan to add modern. Sasha Radetsky and Ethan Stiefel were two of the young men (at least they were there for the summer, if not year round). Previously there were a few of the girls also (briefly) in ABT. Stephanie Waltz was one of them. When the school closed they all went off to different places to continue there studies.

Mr. Baryshnikov paid all salaries, and the expenses associated with having the school. It was quite remarkable to see it in action and remarkable for the time.

After having thought further...Please note corrected numbers.

Edited by vrsfanatic

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