Mikhail Nikolaevitch Baryshnikov (in Russian Михаил Николаевич Баришников) (born January 28, 1948) is a famous dancer and actor.
Baryshnikov (whose name is sometimes transliterated as Baryshinikov or Barishinikov) was born in Riga, then-capital of the Latvian SSR, of Russian parents. His father was an engineer and his mother a seamstress.
He first entered an ballet academy at the age of fifteen. Due to his talent, he joined Leningrad's Kirov Ballet in 1966. During Kirov's tour through Canada in 1974, Baryshnikov disappeared for several days, reappearing in the United States, where he applied for political asylum.
From 1974 to 1979, he was principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre (ABT), though he also danced with ballet and modern dance companies around the world. He then joined the New York City Ballet for fifteen months, working with choreographer George Balanchine. He returned to ABT in 1980 as dancer and artistic director, a position he held for a decade. From 1990 to 2002, Mr. Baryshnikov was artistic director of the White Oak Dance Project, a touring company he co-founded with Mark Morris.
He was a recipient of Kennedy Center Honors in 2000. As of 2004, he is actively involved in the establishment of the Baryshnikov Arts Center in a new performing arts complex in New York City.
Film and television
He received an Oscar nomination for his first film role, in 1977's The Turning Point. He starred in the 1985 film White Nights.
He played a recurring role in the final season of Sex and the City, opposite Sarah Jessica Parker. It was a reunion of sorts, since in the 1970s, Baryshnikov had starred in an ABT production of La Sylphide in which Parker had danced a role as a student-performer.