Michael Baryshnikov 521.
(photo credit: Maria Baranova)
‘How do you feel about the fact that most people would recognize you as
Alexander Petrovsky from Sex and the City?” was one of the many frantic
questions thrown at Michael Baryshnikov during a press conference for his
performance with Anna Laguna at the Suzanne Dellal Center. The question evoked a
small chuckle in the room, followed by hushed anticipation. Though it was clear
to the 70 some members of the press packed into the studio that Baryshnikov’s
name held far more weight than any television character possibly could, the
image of the stoic artist whispering sweet nothings into Carrie Bradshaw’s ear
did come to mind when looking at him.
Baryshnikov took a moment to think,
laughed to himself and answered, “Well, that’s pretty sad, isn’t it?” But the
truth is that while Baryshnikov is perhaps the most well-known and loved dancer
of modern times, acting has been an integral part of his career since the very
beginning. Who could forget the heartache of the film Turning Point or the 12
pirouettes, done in cowboy boots, in White Nights? More than any other dancer of
the past century, Baryshnikov has managed to bridge to elusive gap between
ballet and acting.
Now Baryshnikov is set to return to Israel, only this
time he will be wearing his actor’s hat. Joining forces with esteemed director
Dmitry Krymov and his team of actors, the Baryshnikov Arts Center presents the
play In Paris, which recently enjoyed a successful premiere at the Stage
Helsinki Festival. For this visit, the artists have arranged nine performances,
which will undoubtedly fill the main hall at the Suzanne Dellal Center to the
The play is a stage adaptation of Ivan Bunin’s novel of the same
name. Set in the early 1930s, our star portrays a retired army general who falls
in love with a much younger woman. The woman, played by the glorious Anna
Sinyakina, who is an immigrant to France, finds herself bound in an unlikely and
seemingly tragic romance.
Joining Sinyakina and Baryshnikov on stage are
the actors of the Dmitry Krymov Laboratory, an experimental theater troupe based
in Moscow. The troupe began as a team of students from RATI (Russian Academy of
Theater Arts), led by their professor, Krymov.
They began toying with the
idea that set designers could themselves be actors. When this proved a worthy
attempt, they established the Lab. In the six years since, the ensemble has had
great success in Russia and abroad.
Krymov is one of the strongest voices
in a movement known widely as New Russian Theater. His larger-thanlife
productions are deeply influenced by visual art, as Krymov is also a well-known
painter. Melding together literature, theater and paintings, Krymov envelops the
audience in a rich world of textures, colors and sound.
The play is in
Russian with Hebrew surtitles and a playbill that gives a synopsis in
English.Tickets will undoubtedly sell out early, so be sure to book well
in advance. In Paris will run from November 14 to 21 at the Suzanne Dellal
Center. For tickets, visit www.suzannedellal.org.il or call (03) 510-5656.