Revered ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov has donated his personal archive to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
It contains letters as well as rare photographs and video recordings, including footage of Baryshnikov rehearsing with the great George Balanchine and Merce Cunningham.
In an interview with the New York Times, the dancer said the archive represented his whole life.
Baryshnikov, 63, defected from the Soviet Union in Canada after his tour with the Bolshoi Ballet troupe. Shortly after his appearance in North America, Baryshnikov joined the troupe of American Ballet Theater, becoming its artistic director six years later. In 1990, Baryshnikov co-founded the White Oak Dance Project and became artistic director there. In 2005, he launched the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York.
Apart from his outstanding ballet career, Baryshnikov has made several appearances on the big and small screens, including a role in 1977 film The Turning Point, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award, and the last season of Sex and the City TV series.
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