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Baryshnikov injured; cancels tour

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This just in:

Because of an injury sustained during rehearsal this past weekend,

necessitating an emergency knee operation on Friday, September 26,

Mikhail Baryshnikov regretfully is forced to postpone his entire

International Fall 2003 Tour. The tour was to have begun in

Burlington, Vermont on September 29 and to conclude on November 3 in Madrid, Spain. The postponement includes rescheduling his appearance in Holyoke, Massachusetts as part of MIFA/the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts.

Mr. Baryshnikov and his management have guaranteed to appear in

Holyoke on a date between January 21 and March 21, 2004. The exact

date will be known within the next week.

Mr. Baryshnikov said, " I feel devastated to have to withdraw from

the tour on such short notice. I would convey to all the presenters

and members of my audience my personal promise to fulfill my

obligations to each and every one of them and to come back as strong

as ever."

At this writing, the Holyoke performance was nearly sold-out. MIFA

asks that ticket holders await the new date, at which time tickets

will be honored for the performance, or refunded at holder's request.

MIFA asks ticket holders to retain their tickets as a show of support

for Mr. Baryshnikov, MIFA, and his efforts for Holyoke. Ticket

holders opting to retain their tickets to the Baryshnikov January

21-March 21 appearance will be given the same number of complimentary tickets to another MIFA FALL FESTIVAL '03 event. Please call 800.224.MIFA.

Mr. Sanders, MIFA's executive artistic director said, "I am, of

course, devastated by this accident, but we have to support Mr.

Baryshnikov, and I am asking the public to support MIFA in this, too."

Kathy Anderson, aide to Holyoke Mayor Michael J. Sullivan, said, "Of

course we're disappointed, but we have chosen a couple of dates and

we're waiting to receive confirmation from the Baryshnikov people. We

wish him a speedy recovery and we're just as excited to have him

visit in the winter. We support Don Sanders and MIFA's resolute

efforts to make this happen in Holyoke.

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I distinctly remember Baryshnikov telling Larry King during his Feb. 2002 interview that there are certain choreographic movements asked of him and he'll say, "If you make me do that, this knee will scream." It seems those knees are the real achilles heel for so many dancers. We can work around almost anything, but those particular joints are key.

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