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Legendary Dancer Baryshnikov Opens New York Arts Center

At the age of 59, ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov is still dancing. He recently opened the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York City, which provides space and support for creating art.

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    Decades after he first took the world by storm, Mikhail Baryshnikov is still dancing, not as often and not with the breathtaking leaps of his younger self, but at 59 he is still a captivating performer, one long recognized, as one recent reviewer put it, as the quintessence of his art form.

    MIKHAIL BARYSHNIKOV, Dancer and Choreographer: So many wonderful projects in my mind waiting to be realized, and it just drives me nuts sometimes.


    It drives you nuts?

  • Baryshnikov’s latest obsession:

    he's created an art center in New York to give people in the dance and theater worlds the time and space to create their art, something he thinks has become increasingly difficult in our commercially driven culture.


    I understand what kind of struggle a young creator sometimes goes through. They have an idea; they don't have the money. They have the money; they don't have enough money to rent a studio. They have rent the studio, but they have not enough money to rent the studio for three or four weeks or four or five weeks to complete the project.

    I'm not trying to change the world and change the scene of the New York art scene. I just hopefully can give opportunity occasionally for an artist to arrive at the studio and take a deep breath and say, "Well, I feel comfortable here, and I really feel I can produce something personal and beautiful."


    The Baryshnikov Art Center occupies three floors in a renovated midtown Manhattan building. In addition to a small theater, there are several rehearsal studios and office space.

    ASZURE BARTON, Choreographer and Dancer: And go.


    The center offers residencies to emerging choreographers so they can settle in and work.


    I just have to look at the spacing, as well.


    One is 31-year-old Aszure Barton.


    I'm usually running from place to place to place renting space, you know, in different locations in the city, so it's incredibly helpful. It's heaven, it really is, to have this space.

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