Mikhail Baryshnikov and Ana Laguna

Three Solos and a Duet Suzanne Dellal, June 26.

mikhail baryshnikov 311 (photo credit: Bengt Wanselius)
mikhail baryshnikov 311
(photo credit: Bengt Wanselius)
As expected, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Ana Laguna, two veteran dance artists, each unique in his/her own way, joined hands and minds together and proved that a rich artistic life doesn’t expire with graying hair and a looser waistline. Both truly touched the spectators’ hearts and received the longest standing ovation in the history of Suzanne Dellal.
Baryshnikov is probably one of the three greatest ballet dancers of the 20th century, with a long career that has made him a household name, while Laguna will be remembered as the muse and sublime interpreter of works by Matz Ek, one of the more important choreographers of our time.
They performed four works by Ek, Benjamin Millepied and Alexei Ratmansky, each dealing with the passage of time in a different, introspective way.
While Ratmansky’s solo Valse-Fantasie supplied Baryshnikov with a clear narrative and ample opportunity for poise, mime jests and cynical acting shticks – all within the old-fashioned balletic style – Millepied’s Years Later offered more contemporary ways of confronting the dancer with his younger self and his future.
Ek’s Solo For Two and Place supplied the more complex encounters of the evening, with the deep choreographic ability to touch the human core. The challenges he offers are never simple, and each phrase has layers of hidden options of moods, thoughts and life perspectives. Laguna found ingenious ways to convey her wide range and nuancebased sensitivities.
No wonder that her rendition in Solo for Two touched so deeply as she portrayed a simple country girl, so crude on one hand and so delicately, poetically and honestly vulnerable on the other. Quite rightly she won the enthused audience appreciation with shouts, yells and calls of “bravo.”
Baryshnikov and Ana Laguna also perform June 28, 29 and 30 at the Herzliya Performing Arts Center.