Every Ballerina’s First Love

As a young ballet student, it’s not easy to forget the first time you see an unparalleled performance – on tape, on stage, or in the studio.  I won’t forget the first time I saw the pointed toes, spectacular leaps, and turns of one Mikhail Baryshnikov, easily classified as unparalleled in every sense of the word.  Sitting in the ballet studio all huddled around the TV in tights and ballet shoes, we watched a video of Baryshnikov in a pas de deux, lifting Gelsey Kirkland with grace, ease, and his boyish charm.  It was one of those moments where, even as young boys and girls, we realized what we were working toward. Even those who aren’t ballet fanatics will remember fondly when they saw Baryshnikov light up their screens as the elusive artist Mr. Aleksandr Petrovksy in Sex and the City.

Kicking off the Broad Stage’s second season is a performance that, like Baryshnikov himself, inspires the word  ‘unparalleled.’  Dancing with Ana Laguna, the performance will see the start of their limited engagement tour of “Three Solos and a Duet” across the US.  They’re performing new works by contemporary choreographers like Mats EkAlexei Ratmansky (formerly of the Bolshoi Ballet), and New York City Ballet’s Benjamin Millepied.  

If there was any way to otherwise convey my excitement about a performance as groundbreaking and enticing as this one, I’d take it.  Once you move past Baryshnikov’s casual good looks, confidence, impeccable technique, and spectacular artistry, you’ll be faced with the performance itself, which marks four premieres as danced by a living legend. Ana Laguna, truly not to be overlooked, will hold her own next to Mr. Baryshnikov with ease – she’s long been Mats Ek’s muse (and wife),  danced with the Cullberg Ballet, and staged a number of Ek’s works at the Opera de Paris and the Compania Nacional de Danza in Spain.  Her career has also been studded with awards from around the world.  I’ll reason with you – they’re not exactly lithe twenty-year-olds up on stage.  But remember how good Something’s Gotta Give was?  Enough said – certain things really are better with age (and the wisdom that comes with it.)  They say that youth is wasted on the young for a reason…

Mikhail Baryshnikov and Ana Laguna are performing their “Three Solos and a Duet” at the Broad Stage on Friday, September 4 at 8pm and on Saturday, September 5 at 7:30pm.  For more information, please call (310) 434-3200 or click here.

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