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Dancing Free

Two decades after his great leap westward, Mikhail Baryshnikov is still footloose.
Jack Bettridge
From the Print Edition:
Pierce Brosnan, Nov/Dec 97

(continued from page 4)

While he has no specific plans for the future, it is clear Baryshnikov knows that change is inevitable. "The biggest transition would be to stop dancing. When it will happen I don't know. It might happen very soon. It might happen not for a few years, because I am probably now in better shape than I was a few years ago, physically. My knee's doing great and I'm doing some really interesting stuff and choreographers want to do work for me."

He rattles off a number of projects that might interest him: solo work under the White Oak umbrella, something with the spoken word, maybe experimental theater, a return to Broadway where he was well received in Metamorphosis. "The night is young," his eyes light up. "One never knows."

 

CIGAR DOSSIER

Name: MIKHAIL BARYSHNIKOV
Born: RIGA, LATVIA
Occupation: DANCER
First Cigar
: "Milos Foreman gave me a really good cigar and explained how to smoke it. I think it was a Château Margaux, the Cuban Davidoff, one of the short ones, those little robustos, a wonderful cigar. And it was like oysters or caviar. It was a good introduction."
Favorite Cigar: "A few years ago a friend of mine gave me an extraordinary present. A Dunhill collection of Cuban cigars from the late '50s, pre-Revolutionary cigars, 40 years old. I have like 20, 30 left, and maybe once a year I'll get one. But I don't stick to one brand. I like to test a few. Of course, if there's a nice Cuban cigar that somebody has..."
Least Favorite: Flavored cigars. "I want the leaf and nothing but the leaf."
Cigar Anecdote: "When we were little kids, the Cubans use to send boxes and boxes to Russia. Of course, they were all dry because they sent them over on slow boats. But for Russians to smoke something without inhaling, it is like to gargle with vodka and then spit it out. It didn't work out."
Smoking Frequency: "If I don't have a cigar on me, I don't miss a cigar. I stopped smoking cigarettes over 15 years ago. That's an addiction, a sick addiction. But the weeks can go by and if I don't have a good cigar, I'm OK."
Favorite Cigar Moment: While golfing. "At home if I don't have a cigar I'm fine, but if I'm on the golf course, ohhh."
Effect on His Art: None. "If it doesn't affect Wayne Gretzky's run on ice, then I think I am in ballet shape."


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