Sunday, June 22, 2008

Meeting Mikhail

On Friday night, I got to meet Mikhail Baryshnikov, one of the greatest dancers ever. How exactly did I meet him, you might ask? Well, the Weinstein Gallery in south Minneapolis is showing an exhibition of photographs that Baryshnikov took of Merce Cunningham's dance company. Friday night was the opening, and Mikhail was there! Since the Weinstein Gallery is just blocks from where I live, I figured I'd head over to the gallery. I saw Baryshnikov dance a few years ago, and it was simply amazing. I can't say I'm an expert on dance, not by a long shot, but I do enjoy watching it.

The Weinstein Gallery is tiny, just two large rooms, and the window air conditioners were ineffective. The rooms were crowded with people trying to get a glimpse of Mikhail. He was dressed coolly, in a white shirt and black trousers, and I was surprised at how tiny he is. He can't be more than 5'6" or 5'7", and his frame is just so small, petite, even. He still has a thick head of hair, dark brown flecked with gray, and his blue eyes are piercing. Needless to say, at 60, he's still incredibly handsome. (Surprise, surprise!) And he's an incredibly nice person, posing for photographs with people, signing autographs, chatting with them. I got to shake his hand, and told him how much I enjoyed seeing him dance. Then I said, "It's nice to meet you." He replied, "It's nice to meet you too!" What a cool guy.

1 comment:

Holly A Hughes said...

How cool that you met him! I'm so glad he turns out to be a decent fellow. He's turned out to have so much more longevity than anyone would have expected, hasn't he? I like how he transitioned into modern dance when he felt he could no longer dance ballet up to his own standards. As an elder statesman of the arts (hard to believe it!), he's shown incredible class.