The star returns

Michael Baryshnikov take to the stage in Tel Aviv to perform in the drama ‘In Paris’.

By ORI J. LENKINSKI
September 23, 2011 16:18
2 minute read.
Michael Baryshnikov

Michael Baryshnikov 521. (photo credit: Maria Baranova)

 
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‘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.

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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 brim.

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.

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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.

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