The Soviet ballet star, Mikhail Barishnikov has gone into hiding in Canada, apparently after defecting.?
The Soviet ballet star, Mikhail Barishnikov has gone into hiding in Canada, apparently after defecting. Mr. Barishnikov, a star of Leningrad's elite kirov Ballet, had been on tour in Canada with the Russian Bolshoi Ballet Troupe. He disappeared on Saturday night (29 June) after the troupe had completed a series of performances in Toronto.
Friends of the 26-year-od Russian say an american girl that Barishnikov met three years ago when he made his Western debut in London is with him. The Canadian External Affairs Minister, Mitchell Sharp has said that if Mr. Barishnikov asks for asylum in Canada, he would probably receive "a sympathetic hearing".
Barishnikov is rated as one of the world's greatest ballet dances. The reviews have praised him warmly, but have been critical of his fellow dancers, most of whom are secondary members of the famous Bolshoi troupe. The leading members of the Bolshoi are currently performing in Britain. A friend of Barishnikov's commented last week that the reviews had made things very difficult for Barishnikov "with other principals".
Rudolf Nureyev was the first dancer to defect from the Kirov Ballet. He left in 1961. Nine years later, he was followed by Natalia Makarova. The Jewish dancer, Valery Panov and his wife Galina who were finally allowed to emigrate to Israel three weeks ago, were also with the Kirov Ballet.