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Mikhail Baryshnikov on Charlie RoseFull-hour Interview


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#16 Amy Reusch

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 09:45 PM

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?

#17 4mrdncr

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 10:56 AM

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.

#18 dirac

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 12:15 PM

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.

#19 carbro

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 02:57 PM

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.

#20 vrsfanatic

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 05:28 PM

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.

#21 Rosa

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 07:35 PM

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.

#22 Farrell Fan

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 08:01 PM

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.

#23 Amy Reusch

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 08:41 PM

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...

#24 Mel Johnson

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 04:12 AM

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.

#25 vrsfanatic

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 04:49 AM

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, 06 March 2007 - 05:39 AM.


#26 dirac

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 02:14 PM

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.


I wouldn’t necessarily expect Rose to bring up Ross or Kaye, but I was also surprised that he didn’t know “The Turning Point” was Baryshnikov’s first Hollywood venture, and an Oscar nomination is the sort of thing that no good host ordinarily fails to mention. Very poor briefing on the part of his staff, definitely.

#27 sandik

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 03:00 PM

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.



Ross was also a choreographer, which I like to think influenced his work as a director.

#28 drb

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 08:11 PM

I see that the videocast is slipping down toward the bottom of the page. Don't know if this means it might cease to be available, but ...
http://www.charlierose.com/index.html

#29 Ray

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 06:13 AM

I see that the videocast is slipping down toward the bottom of the page. Don't know if this means it might cease to be available, but ...
http://www.charlierose.com/index.html


Has anyone emailed the producers yet with their criticisms? I think it would be productive for the CR producers to hear from a critical mass of educated viewers. The email addy for comments is charlierose@pbs.org (I hope it's ok to include this email here).

#30 drb

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 06:58 AM

http://www.charlierose.com/index.html

The Misha show has slipped off the Rose page, but if you go down the right-hand column and click on his Google site you'll get to a number of old shows. Add to what is already in his search box the word Baryshnikov and you will get the show, and in a much larger size than what has been on before.


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