Top 95 Mikhail Baryshnikov Quotes of 2020

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“I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I like to go to anybody else’s birthday, and if I’m invited I’m a good guest. But I never celebrate my birthdays. I really don’t care.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“The more injuries you get, the smarter you get.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“When I see people on the street, I look at how they walk. It’s like a signature, a fingerprint.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“When a body moves, it’s the most revealing thing. Dance for me a minute, and I’ll tell you who you are.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I found that dance, music, and literature is how I made sense of the world… it pushed me to think of things bigger than life’s daily routines… to think beyond what is immediate or convenient.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I was not extremely patriotic about Mother Russia. I played their game, pretending. You have to deal with, you know, party people, KGB. Horrifying.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I really reject that kind of comparison that says, Oh, he is the best. This is the second best. There is no such thing.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“Dancers are made, not born.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“It’s weird when you see pieces of choreography that were done for you 15 or 20 years ago and now they are being done by another dance company.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“You cannot be happy with your family while being personally unhappy with your work. It’s a Catch-22 kind of thing.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“We lived, until I was 12 or so, in communal apartment with five different families and the same kitchen, in two little – my brother and me and my parents. It was hell, but it was a common thing. My father was not general or admiral, but he was colonel. He was teaching in military academy military topography.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“My life has been immensely enriched by gay mentors, colleagues and friends, and any discrimination and persecution of gay people is unacceptable.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“Your body actually reminds you about your age and your injuries – the body has a stronger memory than your mind.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“The body cannot lie. You cannot be somebody else onstage, no matter how good of an actor or dancer or singer you are. When you open your arms, move your finger, the audience knows who you are, you know.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“Now there is in a way a renaissance of modern dance – suddenly, it is more respected and discovered.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I would like to go and dance in Palestine one day, with great pleasure, great pleasure.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“The essence of all art is to have pleasure in giving pleasure.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“The Russian people get so insanely close to each other as friends. Their lives are interrelated so much on an everyday basis.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“Dances have a second and third life. You feel they are never ready. They always have a chance for another life.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“No matter what I try to do or explore, my Kirov training, my expertise, and my background call me to return to dancing after all, because that’s my real vocation, and I have to serve it.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I like to make my own mistakes.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I get speeding ticket like everybody else. If the restaurant is full I’m waiting in line like everybody else.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“Dancing is my obsession. My life.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I cannot belong to a nonprofit organization because when you receive grants, you have to make such great compromises with your artistic plans.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“My father was a Party member and he was a pretty high rank military officer under the colonel, junior colonel, I don’t know the term. He was a total Stalinist. A bit with a streak of anti-Semitism and very shrewd man, a very kind of nervous man.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“Nobody else in the world has a form like the Native American musical, and Americans should be very proud.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I know when I am on stage and I’m kind of on the right track – hopefully most of the time. But a lot of time I’m not.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“You see, dancers are quite mature people because they start performing so early. They become professionals when they start to take everyday classes.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“In the second part of life you get rid of stuff you’ve accumulated.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I fell in love with New York. It was like every human being, like any relationship. When I was a young New Yorker, it was one city. When I was a grown man, it was another city. I worked with many dance organizations and many wonderful people.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“A country like Belgium, or socialist countries in central Europe spend more money on art education than the United States, which is a really puzzling thought.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I want to do exactly what I want to do. I’d rather gamble on the box office than beg for a grant.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“It’s what’s left in life, to work with interesting people.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I don’t see in myself any perfection.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“No dancer can watch Fred Astaire and not know that we all should have been in another business.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“Working is living to me.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I have been very lucky to work in so many new ballets, but that is what a dancer’s work is.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“Every ballet, whether or not successful artistically or with the public, has given me something important.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“To walk across the street is a risk.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“Creative Artists Agency put together a project of extraordinary mediocrity and colossal stupidity. Otherwise, it was great.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I feel very uneasy with a lot of aspects of the Russian life and the Russian people.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“Astaire was not a sexual animal, but he made his partners look so extraordinarily related to him.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“People of art should never get married and have children, because it’s a selfish experience.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I think art education, especially in this country, which government pretty much ignores, is so important for young people.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“Dancers are stripped enough onstage. You don’t have to know more about them than they’ve given you already.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“To achieve some depth in your field requires a lot of sacrifices. Want to or not, you’re thinking about what you’re doing in life-in my case, dancing.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I go a lot to see young people downtown in little theaters. It’s great. If you start somebody’s career, it’s so exciting.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I kind of lost interest in the classical dance. I was very much interested in the modern choreography.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I am not the first straight dancer or the last.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I have some Russian friends. But probably only 10 percent. I don’t hang out usually in the big Russian communities in Brooklyn and New Jersey.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“In ’74 it was really a very gloomy atmosphere, I would say, to put it mildly.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I was very restless. I really wanted to be a part of a kind of a progressive society. I was fed up with these Communist doctrines and you were hassled all the time with members of the Party committee who were KGB, what you have to do, where in the West you can go or not to go.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“Running a company is pretty demanding.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“Obviously, the young dancers lack a certain air of maturity.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I am teaching more. That is what I do best.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I have made mistakes.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I don’t want to do anything Freudian.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“Your heart is very much connected to your mind.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I miss horribly those couple of hours before the performance when you get into the theater and you see people.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“Soviet regime in a way deprived me from my childhood in my homeland, because my father was in military, and after the Yalta agreement he was sent to teach in military academy in Riga, and I was born then.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“My mother had a son from previous marriage and her husband died in Second World War.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I – you know, I’m not an actor.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I read Russian literature a lot.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I have the life of seven cats.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“Nobody is born a dancer.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I’ve been hurt quite a few times.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I am not trying to do material which I cannot do full out.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“People dance at any age.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I’ve always said, ‘I am a selector, I am not defector’ – the first few phrases in English I learned. I said I hate ‘defector’; something defective about the people. It’s a bad word.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I never liked dance photography; it’s very flat, and dance photography in the studio looks very contrived.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I was always interested in photography and other forms of art.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I spend at least a couple hours a day in the studio, every day, whether I’m dancing or not.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I don’t go to a gym, I don’t do yoga. I don’t do personal training.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“When I’m alone, I work sometimes with music, sometimes without and sometimes just listening to NPR.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“Nothing is ever too expensive if it furthers the repertoire and artistic standards of a dance company.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“Although I don’t gamble in life – I’ve never played poker – I do gamble on stage. I gamble with myself: ‘Can I do this?’”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“In opera tradition, when opera die-hard fans, there is a replacement of singer or singer wasn’t at his or hers vocal best, doing something, they boo. Especially now that they pay hundreds of dollars for the ticket.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I don’t drink milk, and I don’t eat bread, pasta or rice. But I eat a lot of meat, chicken, fish and salads.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I’m a news junkie.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I fell in love with New York.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I cannot stand authority.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I think I got disappointed over the years about New York, about the States. You know, sometimes you go and visit Europe and see good old socialism in its good part! You see public concern about art, and young people’s participation and young faces in the audience.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I remember vividly seeing ‘Tarzan’ and Fred Astaire, the Chaplin films, Fred Astaire musicals, MGM, because of my mother. She was just interested in everything and she took me to opera and ballet, and then ballet got me hooked.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I adored my mother, and I will always have extraordinary memories about her and remember her, and she opened the doors for me to appreciate arts.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“In any art form, in Hollywood or in music, there is a handful of people who really, you know, move the envelope.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I am a performer. I go on stage and make a fool of myself.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I cannot draw to save my life, and I’m not a big art scholar, but I worked with many designers throughout my career – in theater, in dance, costume designers, set designers, and I have a lot of artist friends and I do photography, and I think it’s kind of in my life.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“Everything I do, it’s a bit painterly. I like being surrounded by objects, mostly on paper. I like the images. I like the painting. I like good photography. It’s something that makes me an emotional connection, and I feel comfortable around it.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“Film, theater and television always kind of scared me. I don’t ever seriously think of myself as an actor at all, and I don’t plan any film career or television career.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“You open a section of ‘The New York Times,’ and there’s a review or a story on a choreographer or a dancer, and there’s an informative, clear image of a dancer. This is, in my view, not an interesting photograph.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“Dance is one of the most revealing art forms.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I’m a product of Russian culture, but I never felt it was my country.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“Choreographers use me as the old guy who still dances. Not that I put on white tights.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov

“I’m an impatient person in many respects. I like to put myself in uncomfortable situations. It forces me to deliver.”

― Mikhail Baryshnikov
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