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Mikhail Baryshnikov to put Nijinsky’s diaries on stage in Riga

July 20, 16:28 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The show, based on Nijinsky's diaries, was first staged last July at the Spoleto International Arts Festival in Italy, and after began its tour around the world
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Mikhail Baryshnikov

Mikhail Baryshnikov

© AP Photo/Matt Sayles

MOSCOW, July 20. /TASS/. Renowned dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov is set to bring his solo production - Letter to a Man - dedicated to the legendary choreographer, Vaslav Nijinsky, to the stage of the Latvian national opera, August 3-7.

The show, based on Nijinsky's diaries, was first staged last July at the Spoleto International Arts Festival in Italy, and after began its tour around the world. Riga, Baryshnikov’s city of birth, is one of the stops along the way.

"I'm very happy that we are so fortunate to present before our audience, a new work by our native, world-renowned Mikhail Baryshnikov" said tour organizer, Andrei Zhagars, whose fund helped finance the tour in conjunction with the Riga Arts Festival.

According to Zhargas, the performances will be among the most important Latvian cultural events.

Nijinsky is a major name in the world of ballet. He was the star of Serge Diaghelev's Ballet Russe, and a dancer, a choreographer, whose productions of the Sacred Spring and Afternoon of a Faun laid the groundwork for contemporary choreography. Yet his tortured relationship with Diaghilev, the immigrant life, and various behind-the-scene scandals took a toll on the artist’s fragile mental health. Nijinsky spent the last 30 years of his life in a mental institution, and in the diaries that he kept between January 19 and March 4, 1919, signs of his debilitating illness are rather evident.

"This is not about Nijinsky, per se," Baryshnikov told the Guardian. "It is about this extraordinary book, miraculously written in six months. It is about a troubled man and his relationship with his art, with God, with family, with moral issues. We avoided recreating anything."

A top-notch team worked on the production - the texts of the diaries were adapted by playwright and literary critic, Darryl Pinkney and legendary theater director, Robert Wilson who staged the performance.

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