Legendary Ballet Dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov Awarded Honorary Tbilisi Citizenship

Russian-American dancer, choreographer and actor Mikhail Baryshnikov has been awarded honorary citizenship of Tbilisi. On Saturday, Deputy Mayor Sophio Khuntsaria presented him with a key to the city and a certificate of honorary citizenship.

Baryshnikov is visiting Georgia to perform in the Tbilisi International Festival of Theatre, which opened yesterday with the play Brodsky / Baryshnikov, a one-man show produced by and starring Baryshnikov, based on the poetry of Nobel laureate Joseph Brodsky. It was performed at Marjanishvili Theatre.

While awarding him after the performance, Khuntsaria said, “Mikhail Baryshnikov is a legendary man, and one of the greatest artists. He was a catalyst for the collapse of the Soviet Union, in fact, a symbol of freedom, and remains so to this day. We are very grateful that he has chosen Georgia and Tbilisi among other post-Soviet countries.”

In 1974, Baryshnikov publicly defected to Canada, and announced that he would not return to the USSR. He danced with Canadian and American ballet companies for the rest of his career.

The Tbilisi International Festival of Theatre is in its tenth year. It will host cultural events, celebrating Georgian and international dramatic artists, through September 30.

Baryshnikov was born in Riga, Latvia in 1948. He has had an illustrious career in the arts, and is regarded as one of the best male ballet dancers of all time, alongside fellow legends Vaslav Nijinsky, Rudolf Nureyev and Vladimir Vasiliev. Many may also know him from a guest role on the popular television show Sex and the City in the early 2000s, his performance in the 1977 film The Turning Point, for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor and a Golden Globe nomination, or the 1985 film White Nights.



By Samantha Guthrie

Photo: Tbilisi City Hall

17 September 2018 08:47