Biographyof Mikhail Baryshnikov
MikhailBaryshnikov was born in the year 1948 in Latvia. He is a native ofRiga and one of the greatest dancers in the United States of America.As a dance treasure, Mikhail has been put into record as one of themost famous ballet dancer. He began his dance career at a tender ageof nine years when he joined ballet classes. Baryshnikov studiedballet when he joined the Vaganova Academy in Leningrad and graduatedfrom a mere student to a principal dancer at the Kirov Ballet in1969. Mikhail has been one of the most talented dancer the globe hasever known. A close follow-up of his life in the dancing industryportrays him as one of the world’s greatest talent. While the danceindustry has gone through great revolutions, Mikhail Baryshnikov hasbeen able to maintain and improve his skills with a lot of passionmaking him one of the most celebrated dancers of alltimes. Mikhail holds a lot of fame in the genres of danceand photography. At the age of 16, his unique performance made himget a place in the Vaganova School, which is known for itscompetitive training in dance. In this school, Mikhail trained underAlexander Pushkin who lived between 1907 and 1970. In this period,he gained exclusive training and debuted with the Kirov Ballet (alsoknown as Mariinsky Ballet) in the year 1967. Baryshnikov got theopportunity to dance in the classical repertoire of the companydespite his little stature. This has been attributed to the virtuosictechnique and his excellent artistry. He was famously known as thestar of the Kirov in the summer of 1969 after winning a gold medal atthe international Ballet Competitions held in Moscow. This awardraised his standards of dance and when he was named as the HonoredArtist of the Republic in the late 1973, he did not receive theappreciation with greatness since according to him, this was not thekind of recognition and fame he yearned for. According to him he hadstrived to “have freedom for growth, for experimentation, and thekind of freedom that would allow him work with choreographers ofgreat skills and exception. He knew that he would not achieve hisdreams and the freedom he needed by just staying in the Kirov Balletwhich was artistically stagnant at that time ("100 Treasures -Mikhail Baryshnikov"). In summer 1978, Mikhail was inthe scenes of American dance when he dramatically defected his tourto Canada. Due to the headlines and attention brought by his flightfrom Russia, the American public was fueled. This made him known asthe superstar of the world of ballet. He joined the American BalletTheatre where he worked with dancers like Gelsey Kirkland and NataliaMakarova. He later joined the New York City Ballet in 1978 where hewas treated with equality like other dancers. He worked with JeromeRobins and George Balanchine very closely. The company appreciateshim to date for his dedication to work and not stardom. In 1980, hewas named the artistic director of the American Ballet Theatre afterLucia Chase stepped down where he transformed the company to includenew and old styles. He is known to have fused ballet withcontemporary dance making the theatre very powerful ("100Treasures – Mikhail Baryshnikov"). Baryshnikov invested inbusiness ventures such as body wear and fragrances such as Misha,Baryshnikov Pour Homme,and BaryshnikovFemme.He had partnerships with Joseph Brodsky and co-found Russian Samovar.He received many awards and recognitions in art such as PrinceRainier III Awards (2005), National Arts Award (2005), Kennedy CenterHonors (2000), the Jerome Robbins Prize for Excellence in Dance Arts(2004) and Yale University’s Chubb Fellowship (2003-4). He gotnumerous Honorary Doctorate degrees from Universities. Mikhail openedthe Baryshnikov arts Center in 2005 and was ranked as the Officer ofFrench Legion of Honor.
Biographyof Alvin Ailey
Alvinwas born on 5thJanuary 1931 in Rogers, Texas. His family strongly held Christianitymorals making him a member of Sunday school in his church. Theseyouthful experiences in Sunday school acted as an inspiration for histwo most popular and highly acclaimed works namely: RevelationsandBlue Suites.He was highly inspired by the performances of the Katherine DunhamCompany. He started training as a formal dancer after he wasintroduced to Lester Horton’s dance classes by his friend Carmen.itwas at this point that Alvin took his way to become a choreographerwith Horton who was the founder of the first dance company thatintegrated all races ("100 Treasures – Alvin Ailey"). TheTruman Capote’s House of Flowers later invited him in 1954 todance. Despite being raised in rural backgrounds, Alvin was greatlydetermined to become one of the greatest dancers as seen by hisversatile nature in his works of music, dance and drama that has madehim perform for an estimated 24 million people in 71 countries on sixcontinents. Alvin Ailey founded his music and dance firm,the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre (AAADT) in 1958. This made hisdebut in the 92ndStreet YMCA in New York City. In his vision, Ailey had the zeal ofcreating a company that would dedicate itself to preserving andenriching the modern dance of America and its heritage. In his plan,he wanted to bring out the uniqueness in the cultures of the blacks.With this in mind, he choreographed his classical masterpiece,Revelations.Thisis a historical work whose basis is the religious heritage of theBlack. Ailey founded about 20 ballets including HermitSongs,and Reflectionsin Dduring the first decade after creating his company. These two balletsare currently featuring in the repertoire of the company. Alvin laterdiscovered Judith Jamison who was an extraordinarily talented dancerin 1965. Judith showed a lot of brilliance in her dancing moves andstyles which acted as an inspiration to Alvin in most of his earlyworks like Crywhich later became one of his most popular classics. The balletsof Alvin Ailey have been featured in repertoires of popular music anddance firms lie the American Ballet Theatre, the La Scala OperaBallet, the Paris Opera Ballet, and The Joffrey Ballet. In herappreciation to Alvin, Jowitt Deborah of TheVillage Voice writesin December 1989, “Mr. Ailey welded his modern dance heritage tohis black heritage and honored both influences” ("100Treasures – Alvin Ailey"). He artistically blended the danceidioms of Martha Graham and Lester Horton, jazz dance and classicalballet in his style in a very unique way. Alvin’s selfless naturemade his company create 79 ballets which he insists that the companywas not barely a repository of his creations. Through his management,his company got works from pioneers in the dancing industry and thosewho were emerging choreographers. The Ailey’s company has stagedperformances for over 150 works done by more than 50choreographers. The Alvin Ailey’s American Dance Theater has stagedits performances for over 15 million people in 45 countries since itsinception. This has made the company the most popular internationalambassador of the culture of Americans. Before his death in 1989, henamed Judith Jamison as his successor. Alvin natured and grew thetalents and interests of many dancers.
"100Treasures – Alvin Ailey". Danceheritage.org.N.p., 2016. Web. 21 June 2016.
"100Treasures – Mikhail Baryshnikov". Danceheritage.org.N.p., 2016. Web. 21 June 2016.