The New Riga Theatre & Baryshnikov Productions | Riga/New York
based on the poems of: Joseph Brodsky
directed by: Alvis Hermanis
performed by: Mikhail Baryshnikov
scenography: Kristīne Jurjāne
light design: Gleb Filshtinsky
sound: Oļegs Novikovs
light: Lauris Johansons
video: Ineta Sipunova
pyrotechnic effects designed by: International Fireworks Design
stage manager: Linda Zaharova
stage technicians, surtitles: Andris Skotelis, Kārlis Staņa
tour manager: Elīna Adamaite
costume construction: Deanna Berg MacLean
music: Jim Wilson “God's Chorus of Crickets”, Kārlis Tone
photos: Jānis Deinats, © 1985 Leonid Lubianitsky
premiere: The New Riga Theatre, 2015
Performed in Russian, with Serbian surtitles.
translation by: Radojica Nešović
A co-production of The New Riga Theatre and Baryshnikov Productions. The staging of “Brodsky/Baryshnikov” has been included in Boris and Ināra Teterev’s arts programme TÊTE-À-TÊTE 2015. For more information about the program, please visit: www.TaT.lv
Based on the poems of Joseph Brodsky.
Copyright © 2015, The Estate of Joseph Brodsky
All rights reserved
“Brodsky/Baryshnikov” is a one-man show based on the poems of Nobel laureate Joseph Brodsky, performed by Mikhail Baryshnikov. Conceived and directed by Alvis Hermanis, noted Latvian director of The New Riga Theatre, “Brodsky/Baryshnikov” is an emotional journey deep into the poet's visceral and complex compositions. Performed in Russian, Brodsky's mother tongue, Baryshnikov recites a selection of his long-time friend’s poignant and eloquent works. His subtle physicality transports the audience into Hermanis' reverent imagining of Brodsky's interior world.
Born in 1948 in Riga, Latvia, Mikhail Baryshnikov is considered one of the greatest dancers of our time. After commencing career with the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad, he came to the West in 1974, settling in New York City as principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre (ABT). In 1979 he joined New York City Ballet, where he worked with George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. A year later he was appointed artistic director of ABT where, for the next decade, he introduced a new generation of dancers and choreographers. From 1990-2002, Baryshnikov was director and dancer of the White Oak Dance Project, a modern dance company he co-founded with choreographer Mark Morris. In 2005, he launched Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC) in New York City, a creative space for presenting and nurturing multidisciplinary artists from around the globe. Under his leadership as artistic director, BAC’s programs serve more than 700 artists and 22,000 audience members annually. Baryshnikov is an Academy Award-nominated actor, and a photographer whose work has been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide. His photographs have been featured in publications such as Aperture and Vanity Fair, among others. His published work includes the book “Merce My Way” (2008). Among Mr. Baryshnikov’s many awards are the Kennedy Center Honors, the National Medal of Honor, the Commonwealth Award, the Chubb Fellowship, the Jerome Robbins Award, and the 2012 Vilcek Award. In 2010, he was given the rank of Officer of the French Legion of Honor.
Born 1965 in Riga, Latvia, Alvis Hermanis was recently named among the ten most influential European theater personalities of the last ten years by DU Magazine Swiss periodical for arts and culture. Hermanis currently works with major European theater companies, including Burgtheater Vienna, Schaubuehne Berlin, Munchner Kammerspiele, and Schauspielhaus Zurich; and in opera houses including Teatro alla Scala in Milan, State Opera Berlin and La Monnaie Brussels. He has staged operas at the Salzburg Festspiele since 2012. His latest staging there include “Il Trovatore” (2014) featuring Placido Domingo and Anna Netrebko and “Die Liebe der Danae” (2016). His most recent opera premieres are “La Damnation de Faust” with Opera de Paris, featuring Jonas Kaufman in 2015, “I due Foscari” with Teatro alla Scala in Milan, featuring Placido Domingo in 2016 and “Madam Butterfly” with Teatro alla Scala in Milan in 2016. Hermanis’s theater productions have been presented at major theater festivals ranging from Avignon to Edinburgh, and have toured to more than 40 countries. His many accolades include the Europe Prize New Theatre Realities, the Stanislavsky Award, two Golden Mask Awards (Moscow), Max Reinhardt Pen (Salzburger Festspiele), Nestroy Preis (Austria), and the Konrad Wolf Award (Germany). He has been artistic director of The New Riga Theatre since 1997.
Baryshnikov’s voice is beautiful, and he deploys it both fully and subtly. And as we’ve known from the start of his American career, he’s an actor of tremendous depth. In this piece he’s also a brilliant mime—now a fluttering butterfly, now a Kabuki actor, now a man in the frightful grip of death. I can’t judge his delivery of Brodsky’s Russian, but I can confidently place the performer in the highest regions of his art, up there with Charlie Chaplin—who was also an actor, a dancer and a mime. Martha Graham had the same total command of her art; so did Maria Callas; so did Lillian Gish. These are immortals.