A native of Riga, Latvia, Mikhail Baryshnikov (Latvian, b.1948) began studyingballet at the age of nine. As a teenager, he moved to Leningrad, where he entered the Vaganova Choreographic School, and became a principal dancer of the Kirov Ballet in 1969. In 1974, he left the Soviet Union to dance with major ballet companies around the world, including the New York City Ballet, where he worked with George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. In 1980, he began a 10-year stint as the artistic director of American Ballet Theatre, nurturing a new generation of dancers and choreographers.

From 1990 to 2002, Mr. Baryshnikov was director and dancer with the White OakDance Project, which he co-founded with choreographer Mark Morris.

 

After retiring, has shifted his focus to dance photography. He captures depictions of dancing – full of vitality, rich colour, movement and grace. 

 

“People ask have you stopped dancing and I say not quite. I do this. When I am doing this, I feel like I am dancing with them. I am still a dancer in my mind, and I continue dancing through these images in a way”.