Mikhail Baryshnikov Stars in BRODSKY/BARYSHNIKOV at The Harris Theater
Cherry Orchard Festival , a leading presenter of international artists, theater companies and orchestras, presents the Chicago premiere of the critically-acclaimed play "Brodsky / Baryshnikov," conceived and directed by Alvis Hermanis, Feb. 2-4, 2018 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph Dr. This limited Chicago engagement caps the three-city North American tour of the production co-produced by The New Riga Theatre and Baryshnikov Productions. Additional tour stops include Boston's Cutler Majestic Theatre (Jan. 17-21) and Toronto's Wintergarden Theatre (Jan. 24-27).
"Brodsky / Baryshnikov" is a one-man show based on the poems of Nobel Laureate Joseph Brodsky, performed by legendary dancer/actor Mikhail Baryshnikov. It is an emotional journey deep into the poet's visceral and complex compositions. Performed in Russian and subtitled in English, Baryshnikov recites a selection of his long-time friend's poignant and eloquent works and his subtle physicality transports the audience into Hermanis' reverent imagining of Brodsky's interior world. The U.K.'s The Stage hails the work as "a deeply felt tribute...poignant," and What's on Stage calls it, "a gift from one great artist to another, a debt of love...you can hear a pin drop as the 90-minutes unfolds."
"Brodsky / Baryshnikov" premiered at the New Riga Theatre, Riga, Latvia in Oct. 15, 2015 and had its North American premiere at the Baryshnikov Arts Center's Jerome Robbins Theater, March 9, 2016. The New York Times said of Baryshnikov's performance, "He is arguably most entrancing, and most deeply immersed in the language...It's as if the language is a current of energy activating not just his mind but his entire body; you sense that he feels its presence inside him down to his fingertips."
Joseph Brodsky was born in Leningrad (now St . Petersburg) in 1940 and immigrated to the United States in 1972. He began writing poetry in the 1950s but his works were not published in his native country until the 1990s. Five books of his poetry in Russian were published abroad: "Ostanovka v pustyne" (1970; revised 1989)," "Konets prekrasnoi epokhi" (1977), "Chast' rechi" (1977), "Novye stansy k Avguste" (1983), "Uraniia" (1984) and "Peizazh s navodneniem" (1996). As an émigré he published three books of poetry in English: "So Forth" (1996), "To Urania" (1988) and "A Part of Speech" (1977). "On Grief and Reason," his second collection of essays, was published in 1996. His first collection of essays, "Less Than One" (1986), received the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1986 and three of his essays have appeared in "The Best American Essays." A long essay on Venice was published in English as "Watermark" in 1992. He is also the author of two plays; "Marbles" (1989) and "Democracy!" (1990,1993). He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1987 and served as Poet Laureate of the United States for 1991 and 1992. He died in January, 1996.
Born 1948 in Riga, Latvia, Mikhail Baryshnikov is considered one of the greatest dancers of our time. After commencing a spectacular career with the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad, he came to the West in 1974, settling in New York City as principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre (ABT). In 1979 he joined New York City Ballet, where he worked with George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. A year later he was appointed artistic director of ABT where, for the next decade, he introduced a new generation of dancers and choreographers. From 1990-2002 , Mr. Baryshnikov was director and dancer of the White Oak Dance Project, a modern dance company he co-founded with choreographer Mark Morris. As an actor he has performed widely on- and off-Broadway, as well as in television and film, receiving a Tony Award nomination and a Drama Desk Award for " Metamorphosis" and an Academy Award nomination for "The Turning Point." He is currently performing in two solo theatrical productions, "Letter to a Man, " directed by Robert Wilson, and "Brodsky / Baryshnikov " directed by Alvis Hermanis. In 2005 , he launched Baryshnikov Arts Center ( BAC) in New York City, a creative space for presenting and nurturing multidisciplinary artists from around the globe. In 2010 , he was given the rank of Officer of the French Legion of Honor, and in 2017 he received Japan's prestigious Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award in Theatre/Film.
Born 1965 in Riga, Latvia, Alvis Hermanis was recently named among the 10 most influential European theater personalities of the last decade by DU Magazine Swiss periodical for arts and culture. Mr. Hermanis currently works with major European theater companies, including Burgtheater Vienna, Schaubühne Berlin, Münchner Kammerspiele and Schauspielhaus Zürich; and in opera houses including Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Opéra National de Paris, Staatsoper im Schiller Theater in Berlin, Wiener Staatsoper and La Monnaie, Brussels. He has staged operas at the Salzburger Festspiele since 2012 . His opera stagings include among others "Il Trovatore " featuring Placido Domingo and Anna Netrebko (2014) and "Die Liebe der Danae " (2016) at the Salzburger Festspiele, "La Damnation de Faust " featuring Jonas Kaufman with Opéra National de Paris in 2015, " I due Foscari " featuring Placido Domingo and "Madama Butterfly" with Teatro alla Scala in 2016 and "Parsifal " at the Wiener Staatsoper in 2017. Hermanis' theater productions have been presented at major theater festivals ranging from Avignon to Edinburgh, and have toured to more than 40 countries. His many accolades include the Europe Prize New Theatre Realities, the Stanislavsky Award, two Golden Mask Awards (Moscow), Max Reinhardt Pen (Salzburger Festspiele), Nestroy Preis (Austria), and the Konrad Wolf Award (Germany). He has been artistic director of The New Riga Theatre since 1997.
NEW RIGA THEATRE
The New Riga Theatre is a state repertory theater founded in 1992, led by artistic director Alvis Hermanis since 1997. The Company i s comprised of 16 actors. The New Riga Theatre has performed at major festivals around the world, including Festival d'Avignon, The Edinburgh International Festival, Wiener Festwochen, Salzburger Festspiele, Holland Festival, BITEF, Kunstenfestivaldesarts, and to date has toured to more than 200 towns and cities in 40 countries, both in Europe and overseas. For more information, visit jrt.lv .
Baryshnikov Productions is designed to bring the distinctive voices of directors, choreographers, and artists to the world's most well respected stages. Under this umbrella, the company has produced and toured the White Oak Dance Project (1990-2002), " Forbidden Christmas or The Doctor and the Patient " (2004-2006) , Beckett Shorts (2007) , "In Paris" (2010-2012), "Man in a Case" (2013-2014) and "The Old Woman" (2013-2014). Current touring productions are "Brodsky / Baryshnikov" and " Letter to a Man."
CHERRY ORCHARD FESTIVAL
Cherry Orchard Festival, produced by the Cherry Orchard Festival Foundation, has built a solid reputation for presenting moving and intriguing concerts and theatrical productions by International Artists and ensembles to audience s across America. The Festival's mission is to initiate and promote global cultural activity and an exchange of ideas to an inter-generational audience through entertaining and educational programming and events in all genres. The team is committed to provide the finest entertainment, exceptional musical performances and enlightening educational programs to its patrons. For more information visit CherryOrchardFestival.org.
Cherry Orchard Festival presents the Chicago premiere of "Brodsky / Baryshnikov" conceived and directed by Alvis Hermanis, starring Mikhail Baryshnikov at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph Dr. Feb. 2-4. Press opening is Friday, Feb. 2, 8 p.m. Additional performances are Saturday, Feb. 3, 8 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 4, 2 p.m. Tickets are $45-$150. For tickets or more information visit harristheaterchicago.org or call 312.334.7777.
Discounts of 10% are available for groups of 20 or more and 15% for groups of 50 or more. For more information call 800.349.0021.