Drama/ one-man show
Directed by Alvis Hermanis
Scenographer Kristīne Jurjāne
Music Jim Wilson “God’s Chorus of Crickets”, Kārlis Tone
Designer Kristīne Jurjāne
Light designer Gleb Filshtinsky
Sound Oļegs Novikovs
Light Lauris Johansons
Video by Ineta Sipunova
Photographer Jānis Deinats, Leonid Lubianitsky
BRODSKY/BARYSHNIKOV is a one-man show based on the poems of Nobel laureate Joseph Brodsky, performed by Mikhail Baryshnikov. Conceived and directed by Alvis Hermanis, noted Latvian director of The New Riga Theatre, BRODSKY/BARYSHNIKOV is an emotional journey deep into the poet’s visceral and complex compositions. Performed in Russian, Brodsky’s mother tongue, Baryshnikov recites a selection of his long-time friend’s poignant and eloquent works. His subtle physicality transports the audience into Hermanis’ reverent imagining of Brodsky’s interior world.
Brodsky chased The Grand Themes—life, nature, love, death—capturing the muses of his voracious mind with the aim and focus of a big-game hunter. Hermanis claims that when he first read Brodsky’s poems as a young man, they shook him to the core. Baryshnikov and the poet were famously close friends, both Russian exiles landing in 1970s New York to live as Western artists live. Although neither man can restore a body to Brodsky, together they can, and do, give him the power to move. We hear his words spoken from the stage by Baryshnikov; we hear them in taped recordings of the poet made during his lifetime. In the space of this performance, these two artists make Brodsky’s words physical—connecting poem to sound and sensation and action and reaction. Reverent, quixotic, “Brodsky/Baryshnikov” is a genteel meditation on what and who a writer’s life leaves behind, and what they can forge in his memory.”
Jennifer Krasinski “Big Words”, www.artforum.com, 15.04.2016.
“Baryshnikov’s voice is beautiful, and he deploys it both fully and subtly. And as we’ve known from the start of his American career, he’s an actor of tremendous depth. In this piece he’s also a brilliant mime—now a fluttering butterfly, now a Kabuki actor, now a man in the frightful grip of death. I can’t judge his delivery of Brodsky’s Russian, but I can confidently place the performer in the highest regions of his art, up there with Charlie Chaplin—who was also an actor, a dancer and a mime. Martha Graham had the same total command of her art; so did Maria Callas; so did Lillian Gish. These are immortals.”
Robert Gottlieb “Even When He’s Not Dancing, Baryshnikov Steals the Show”, www.observer.com, 14.03.2016.
Great dancer that Baryshnikov is, he has always been a considerable actor as well, and the treatment of the language is the most impressive thing in the show even, probably, to those who are getting it from the supertitles.”
Joan Acocella “A Ghost Story”, www.nybooks.com, 14.01.2016.
Born 1948 in Riga, Latvia, Mikhail Baryshnikov is considered one of the greatest dancers of our time. After commencing a spectacular career with the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad, he came to the West in 1974, settling in New York City as principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre (ABT). In 1978 he joined New York City Ballet, where he worked with George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. A year later he was appointed artistic director of ABT where, for the next decade, he introduced a new generation of dancers and choreographers. From 1990-2002, Mr. Baryshnikov was director and dancer of the White Oak Dance Project, which he and choreographer Mark Morris co-founded to expand the repertoire and visibility of American modern dance. As an actor he has performed widely on- and off-Broadway, as well as in television and film, receiving a Tony Award nomination and a Drama Desk Award for Metamorphosis, and an Academy Award nomination for The Turning Point. Other theatrical productions include Forbidden Christmas or The Doctor and the Patient, Beckett Shorts,
In Paris, Man in a Case, The Old Woman and Letter to a Man. He is currently touring Brodsky/Baryshnikov, directed by Alvis Hermanis. In 2005, he launched Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC) in New York City, a creative space designed to support multidisciplinary artists from around the globe. Among Mr. Baryshnikov’s many awards are the Kennedy Center Honors, the National Medal of Arts, the Commonwealth Award, the Chubb Fellowship, the Jerome Robbins Award, and the Vilcek Award. In 2010, he was given the rank of Officer of the French Legion of Honor, and in 2017 he received Japan’s prestigious Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award in Theatre/Film.
Born 1965 in Riga, Latvia, Alvis Hermanis was recently named among the ten most influential European theatre personalities of the last decade by DU Magazine Swiss periodical for arts and culture. Mr. Hermanis currently works with major European theatre companies, including Burgtheater Vienna, Schaubühne Berlin, Münchner Kammerspiele, and Schauspielhaus Zürich; and in opera houses including Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Opéra National de Paris, Staatsoper im Schiller Theater in Berlin, Wiener Staatsoper, and La Monnaie Brussels. He has staged operas at the Salzburger Festspiele since 2012. His opera stagings include among others Il Trovatore featuring Placido Domingo and Anna Netrebko (2014) and Die Liebe der Danae (2016) at the Salzburger Festspiele, La Damnation de Faust featuring Jonas Kaufman with Opéra National de Paris in 2015, I due Foscari featuring Placido Domingo and Madama Butterfly with Teatro alla Scala in 2016, and Parsifal at the Wiener Staatsoper in 2017. Mr. Hermanis’s theatre productions have been presented at major theatre festivals ranging from Avignon to Edinburgh, and have toured to more than 40 countries. His many accolades include the Europe Prize New Theatre Realities, the Stanislavsky Award, two Golden Mask Awards (Moscow), Max Reinhardt Pen (Salzburger Festspiele), Nestroy Preis (Austria), and the Konrad Wolf Award (Germany). He has been artistic director of The New Riga Theatre since 1997.
A co-production of The New Riga Theatre and Baryshnikov Productions.
General Management by Baryshnikov Productions, Huong Hoang.
Duration: 90 min, without intermission
Tickets: 85, 70, 40, 20 GEL
THE NEW RIGA THEATRE is a state repertory theatre founded in 1992, led by artistic director Alvis Hermanis since 1997. The artistic principles of the New Riga Theatre include highly professional, ethic and aesthetic quality through an intelligent and attractive repertory focused on a modern, educated and socially active audience. The New Riga Theatre has performed at major festivals around the world, including Festival d'Avignon, The Edinburgh International Festival, Wiener Festwochen, Salzburger Festspiele, Holland Festival, BITEF, Kunstenfestivaldesarts, and, to date, has toured to more than 200 towns and cities in 40 countries, both in Europe and overseas.
BARYSHNIKOV PRODUCTIONS is an independent producing company, designed to bring the voices of distinctive directors, choreographers and artists to the world’s most respected stages. Under this umbrella, the company has produced and toured the White Oak Dance Project (1990-2002), Forbidden Christmas or The Doctor and Patient (2004-06), Beckett Shorts (2007), In Paris (2010-12), Man in a Case (2012-14),The Old Woman (2013-15) and Letter to a Man (2015-17).