Mikhail Baryshnikov in “White Nights”, dancing “Koni” (Horses) by Vladimir Vysotsky

(Originally Posted: March 22, 2013)

A treat! A clip from the movie, White Nights, showing Baryshnikov dancing an amazing solo choreographed by the famous American choreographer, Twyla Tharp. Taylor Hackford directed the film and it starred Mikhail Baryshnikov, Gregory Hines, Jerzy Skolimowski, and Helen Mirren. The song is “Dancing Koni” (Horses), sung by the famous Russian singer, Vladimir Vysotsky.

The film is about a Russian defector who is an acclaimed dancer who gets captured when his plane crashes in Siberia. He and an American expatriate meet up through “arranged” circumstances end up becoming friends, and together, plot their escape.  The scene in this video  shows  Baryshnikov, playing Nikolai “koyla” Rodchenko and Helen Mirren, a famous British actor, playing his wife Galina Ivanova.  She was working for the KGB to lure him back to the Soviet Union, but Nikolai wins her over and they eventually defect together.

The film was made in 1985 and Twyla Tharp’s choreography in this solo is as contemporary as if it was made today. And it is a powerful and wonderful piece of work!

And Baryshnikov, well he is phenomenal as always! Not only was he a great classical dancer but an equally great contemporary dancer as well. He was one of those dancers who were hungry to do it all and he was open to embracing all new and current dance forms. He still does today as he is able.

In this video, Baryshnikov dances the scream he says he feels like doing, he rips it, holding nothing back. He is so powerful with raw emotion, attack and urgency from such frustration of not being able to tell his truth. And he tells it! Even though this is in regards to the events in the movie, it also speaks of the times in life when one feels the need to “break out” and “scream” the truth as well; including for wider universal issues such as freedom.

This dance is a real gem and is now incredible historic footage of a great dancer! Inspiring and moving!

Please be inspired and enjoy! Be sure to SHARE with friends!


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