Achievements Of Mikhail Baryshnikov As A Dancer


23 Mar 2015 25 Apr 2017

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This paper is focused on dance as a form of performing arts. The paper lokks at the history of dance and it looks at the life, contributions to the dance world and accomplishments that Mikhail Baryshnikov' has had thought his carrer. This paper is a research paper aims at looking at the history of Mikhail Baryshnikov and how he has influenced dance. It has also highlighted his varius achievements that have been the highlight of his dancing carrer. (Sally Banes 2003 150)

Mikhail Baryshnikov was born in 1948 in soviet russia. He is highly considered as one f the greatest ballet dancers. He is also a well accomplished actor. He has been creditd to being one of the few dancers who promoted modern dance and lead to its success. His roots were in Kirov Ballet which is found in Leningrad. Later in his carrer he moved to Canada. This was to incease his chances to perform modern dance. He was the artistic director for the American Ballet Theater towards the end of his carrer. He started showing his prowess in dance at a very young age and was enrolled in Vaganova School in Leningrad. He was totured by Alexander Pushkin who was his mentor and was able to succesed and he eventully won the top prize in the junior division in the Varna Competition. Ate the age of 18 in 1967 he show cased his talent in the Kirov Ballet.

Due to his exceptional technique, stage performance and skill he fast become a pronciple dancer in the Vaganova school. Due to the rules of dance in soviet russia at the time he defected to canada in the hope to pursue modern forms of dance. After his defection he became the principle dancer with the American Balet Theatre. Under the direction of George Balanchine, there were a number of roles areated for him at the New York City Ballet. This dance roles as practised today by ballet dancers.


In his career Mikhail Baryshnikov gained a number of awards and achievements. He has used live performances and film to revive modern dance.His main achievement was mainly the revival of modern dance through performances. His achievements are listed below. He was nominated for the David di Donatello Awards and won the Special David Award in the year 1987 in the category for: The Turning Point(1977) for his outstanding performance in the movie and his contributions to the art of dancing. In 1989 he was nominated and won the Emmy Award for his outstanding individual performance in classical music/Dance programming in Great performances: Dance in America (1976). (PBS) for the episode Baryshnikov Dances Balanchine . (Bruce Glassman 1990 23)

In 1988 he was also nominated for the Emmy Awards for outstanding Individual Achievement Classical. This was for:"Great Performances: Dance in America"(1976).(PBS) and for episode "David Gordon's made in U.S.A".he also was nominated for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program for his performance in "Great Performances"(1972). (PBS) for episode "Celebrating Gershwin". He was also nominated for the Emmy Awards in 1985 for an Outstanding Classical Program in the Performing Arts for his perfomance in "Great Performances: Dance in America"(1976) which he shared with Rhoda Grauer(executive producer)and Don Mischer(producer)(PBS). He as also nominated for episode "Baryshnikov by Tharp with American Ballet Theatre". (Lynn Garafola 1997, pp.89)

In 1982 he was nominated for the Emmy Awards for an Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Program for:Baryshnikov in Hollywood(1982) (TV) and shared it with Herman Krawitz(executive producer)and Don Mischer(producer)(CBS). In 1980 he was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety or Music Program and won. This was for his perfromance in:Baryshnikov on Broadway(1980) (TV) and shared with Herman Krawitz(executive producer), Gary Smith(producer) and Dwight Hemion (producer ABC). In 1979 he won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement - Special Events for:Baryshnikov at the White House(1979) (TV).(PBS). In 1978 he was nominated for the Emmy Award for Special Classification of Outstanding Individual Achievement for:The Nutcracker(1977) (TV). (CBS). In 1978 he was nominated for the Golden Globes Awards, USA for the Best Motion Picture Actor in a Supporting Role for his role in:(The Turning Point1977). In 1987 he won Man of The Year Award from the Hasty Pudding Theatricals, USA (Bruce Glassman 1990 23)

Contributions to dance.

He is credited for reviving and bringing new life in ballet in the United States of America. He has also taken a tour around the world with the ABT and he applied for his United states citizenship in 1986. after he gained his citizenship he worked with modern dance choreographer Mark Morris. This was in a bid to sperar head his compagn of reviving modern dance. Mikhail Baryshnikov co-founded the White Oak Dance Project IN 1986. This was a company that practced both modern and post-modern dance. (Lynn Garafola 1997 89)

He toured with if the world over for 10years. He contributed to dance by encouraging and reviving modern forms of dance. Using the company he also revived the state of ballet dancing in the united states. He also created routines that are still in effect till today. People all over the world still practice and ardore balllet rotines he created. He also took solo tours around the world. He also toured with the Hells Kitchen Dance company.

His greatest contribution to dance is the Baryshnikov Arts Centre in New York City. He cofounded the centre. It is dedicated to encouraging the creative arts and provides enough fascillities to hone and create artists. It has created a center for bringing to light rising artists, musicians, and dancers.

He has also encouraged the growth of a new breed of dancers in the course of his carrer. He has also taught and created awareness about dance all over the world. This was due to the number of world tours he took. He contributed to dance majorly also by choreographing for many dance groups and naturing their talents.

He has also been a mentor and tutor to many dancers who have grown up idolizing him. Many up coming dancers look up to him as their guide and mentor. He has inspired many modern dancers to reach out for their dreams. He has also personaly taught dadnce to many dancers around the world.

Also in his old age he is still inspiring dancers to be better since he is still dancing at the age of 61. He is still very fit and dances. He is also an icon and is also very populor with soviet audiences since s oon after he started a series of highly successful appearances he became very famous.

As a dancer, his great physical prowess and unsurpassed leaping ability enabled him to perform the most difficult combinations of steps with remarkable elegance of line. This has inspired most of the dancers who can from underpriveldged backgrounds to reach for their dreams.


This paper has been able to highlight the life, contributions and achievements of Mikhail Baryshnikov as a dancer. The paper has been able to highlight his major achievements and contributions. in his career Mikhail Baryshnikov gained a number of awards and achievements. He has used live performances and film to revive modern dance. He has provided a channel for up coming dansers to be able to nature their talents. He has also become a mentor,tutor and icon to many dancers who have grown up idolizing him this is due to his exceptional technique, stage performance and skill . Many up coming dancers look up to him as their guide and mentor. He has inspired many modern dancers to reach out for their dreams. He has also personaly taught dadnce to many dancers around the world.


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