Words matter. These are the best Mikhail Baryshnikov Quotes, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.
I’m a product of Russian culture, but I never felt it was my country.
I found that dance, music, and literature is how I made sense of the world… it pushed me to think of things bigger than life’s daily routines… to think beyond what is immediate or convenient.
Your body actually reminds you about your age and your injuries – the body has a stronger memory than your mind.
I was not extremely patriotic about Mother Russia. I played their game, pretending. You have to deal with, you know, party people, KGB. Horrifying.
I want to do exactly what I want to do. I’d rather gamble on the box office than beg for a grant.
Although I don’t gamble in life – I’ve never played poker – I do gamble on stage. I gamble with myself: ‘Can I do this?’
Creative Artists Agency put together a project of extraordinary mediocrity and colossal stupidity. Otherwise, it was great.
Dances have a second and third life. You feel they are never ready. They always have a chance for another life.
The essence of all art is to have pleasure in giving pleasure.
To walk across the street is a risk.
Dance is one of the most revealing art forms.
People dance at any age.
I cannot stand authority.
People of art should never get married and have children, because it’s a selfish experience.
Astaire was not a sexual animal, but he made his partners look so extraordinarily related to him.
I am teaching more. That is what I do best.
I was always interested in photography and other forms of art.
The body cannot lie. You cannot be somebody else onstage, no matter how good of an actor or dancer or singer you are. When you open your arms, move your finger, the audience knows who you are, you know.
Your heart is very much connected to your mind.
To achieve some depth in your field requires a lot of sacrifices. Want to or not, you’re thinking about what you’re doing in life-in my case, dancing.
My mother had a son from previous marriage and her husband died in Second World War.
The more injuries you get, the smarter you get.
I’ve been hurt quite a few times.
Dancing is my obsession. My life.
Every ballet, whether or not successful artistically or with the public, has given me something important.
When a body moves, it’s the most revealing thing. Dance for me a minute, and I’ll tell you who you are.
It’s weird when you see pieces of choreography that were done for you 15 or 20 years ago and now they are being done by another dance company.
The Russian people get so insanely close to each other as friends. Their lives are interrelated so much on an everyday basis.
I know when I am on stage and I’m kind of on the right track – hopefully most of the time. But a lot of time I’m not.
I was very restless. I really wanted to be a part of a kind of a progressive society. I was fed up with these Communist doctrines and you were hassled all the time with members of the Party committee who were KGB, what you have to do, where in the West you can go or not to go.
I fell in love with New York.
I’m a news junkie.
In opera tradition, when opera die-hard fans, there is a replacement of singer or singer wasn’t at his or hers vocal best, doing something, they boo. Especially now that they pay hundreds of dollars for the ticket.
Running a company is pretty demanding.
Dancers are stripped enough onstage. You don’t have to know more about them than they’ve given you already.
I have some Russian friends. But probably only 10 percent. I don’t hang out usually in the big Russian communities in Brooklyn and New Jersey.
I don’t drink milk, and I don’t eat bread, pasta or rice. But I eat a lot of meat, chicken, fish and salads.
Nothing is ever too expensive if it furthers the repertoire and artistic standards of a dance company.
We lived, until I was 12 or so, in communal apartment with five different families and the same kitchen, in two little – my brother and me and my parents. It was hell, but it was a common thing. My father was not general or admiral, but he was colonel. He was teaching in military academy military topography.
When I see people on the street, I look at how they walk. It’s like a signature, a fingerprint.
You see, dancers are quite mature people because they start performing so early. They become professionals when they start to take everyday classes.
Choreographers use me as the old guy who still dances. Not that I put on white tights.
In any art form, in Hollywood or in music, there is a handful of people who really, you know, move the envelope.
I miss horribly those couple of hours before the performance when you get into the theater and you see people.
I remember vividly seeing ‘Tarzan’ and Fred Astaire, the Chaplin films, Fred Astaire musicals, MGM, because of my mother. She was just interested in everything and she took me to opera and ballet, and then ballet got me hooked.
I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself.
I have been very lucky to work in so many new ballets, but that is what a dancer’s work is.
I don’t see in myself any perfection.
Soviet regime in a way deprived me from my childhood in my homeland, because my father was in military, and after the Yalta agreement he was sent to teach in military academy in Riga, and I was born then.
Nobody else in the world has a form like the Native American musical, and Americans should be very proud.
I think art education, especially in this country, which government pretty much ignores, is so important for young people.
Nobody is born a dancer.
You open a section of ‘The New York Times,’ and there’s a review or a story on a choreographer or a dancer, and there’s an informative, clear image of a dancer. This is, in my view, not an interesting photograph.
It’s what’s left in life, to work with interesting people.
I am not trying to do material which I cannot do full out.
Working is living to me.
I like to go to anybody else’s birthday, and if I’m invited I’m a good guest. But I never celebrate my birthdays. I really don’t care.
I am not the first straight dancer or the last.
I adored my mother, and I will always have extraordinary memories about her and remember her, and she opened the doors for me to appreciate arts.
I spend at least a couple hours a day in the studio, every day, whether I’m dancing or not.
I don’t go to a gym, I don’t do yoga. I don’t do personal training.
I really reject that kind of comparison that says, Oh, he is the best. This is the second best. There is no such thing.
I feel very uneasy with a lot of aspects of the Russian life and the Russian people.
You cannot be happy with your family while being personally unhappy with your work. It’s a Catch-22 kind of thing.
I read Russian literature a lot.
Dancers are made, not born.