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Mikhail Baryshnikov and Liza Minnelli: Passion as long as a dance
Mikhail Baryshnikov and Liza Minnelli: Passion as long as a dance

He is the son of an officer and a famous dancer. She is a member of a famous acting family, winner of numerous film awards and an Oscar winner. Today Mikhail Baryshnikov and Lisa Minnelli are called legends. Baryshnikov became one of the most influential and famous immigrants from the Soviet Union, whose name is known throughout the world. Liza Minnelli gained fame not only as an actress, but also as a singer. Their romance was bright and passionate, but they were unable to be together.

Mikhail Baryshnikov

Mikhail Baryshnikov as a child

He is used to deciding his own destiny. As a child, he declared his desire to be a dancer and signed up for the entrance exams at the Riga Choreographic School. When I heard from the teachers about being too small for a dancer, I began to exhaust myself with rather painful exercises, but at the same time I grew by 4 centimeters.

He was 12 years old when my mother committed suicide. Relations with the officer father were not easy anyway, and after the departure of my mother and the marriage of my father, they completely deteriorated. The boy lived his own life, studied ballet, won, grew up. And then he entered the Vaganov School, left Riga for Leningrad and completely stopped communicating with his own father.

Mikhail Baryshnikov

Mikhail Baryshnikov was transformed on stage. He conquered with his grace, talent, some kind of flight. It seems that in the Soviet Union he had everything he needed to be happy. However, the boundaries of classical dance were not enough for him. He toured abroad and clearly understood: he needed something more than the Mariinsky troupe.

Mikhail Baryshnikov

Mikhail Baryshnikov never returned from a tour of Toronto in 1974. This decision was not easy for the dancer, but the realization that in the USSR he had already reached the peak of his career helped Baryshnikov not to turn off the intended course. He stayed to do what he loved without restrictions and supervision. At first, the dancer was worried, but he never regretted his act in his entire life. Now the whole world was open to him.

He made a successful career abroad, he had many fans all over the world, he loved the most beautiful and famous women. One of them was the inimitable Liza Minnelli.

Liza Minnelli

Liza Minnelli as a child

Her father was the director Vincent Minnelli, and her mother was the famous actress Judy Garland. Liza Minnelli's childhood was also not cloudless. After her parents divorced, she moved with her mother from place to place, and then also looked after her younger brother and sister, born by her mother in the next marriage.

Liza Minnelli, still from the movie Cabaret

As a child, Lisa first starred in a movie, later she began to go on the stage and sing with her mother. She was only 23 when Judy Garland passed away from an accidental overdose of barbiturates.

By the time she met Mikhail Baryshnikov, she was already rich and famous, managed to get an Oscar and become famous all over the world thanks to her filming in the film Cabaret.

To the sound of music

Mikhail Baryshnikov and Liza Minnelli, shot from the show program "Baryshnikov on Broadway"

The famous dancer worked with Liza Minnelli on the Baryshnikov on Broadway project. For Baryshnikov, this was a transition to a new level, and Minnelli was happy to prepare musical numbers with him, especially since Mikhail also had to sing in the musical. Many hours of rehearsals fascinated both, they devoted themselves to work without a trace. But then the relationship between the two actors went beyond business. They plunged into the abyss of their passionate romance.

Mikhail Baryshnikov and Liza Minnelli

Mikhail Baryshnikov almost never talks about his connections and believes that society pays too much attention to this issue. He always diligently avoided questions about the relationship with Liza Minnelli.

The actress, on the contrary, never hid her sympathy for this mysterious Russian. Lisa could listen for hours as he recites the poems of Russian poets and talks about lofty matters. She admired his beauty and charm, admired the talent of the Russian dancer and never tired of being surprised at his daily transformation on stage.

Mikhail Baryshnikov and Liza Minnelli

In life, Baryshnikov was very closed, for which he gained fame as a "man in a case." But as soon as he began to move to the sound of music, he became completely different: free, light, open. He did not move, did not dance, did not perform the most difficult steps, he lived in music, he flew and was just part of the magic sounds that only emphasized his extraordinary grace.

Lisa was in love, and Mikhail did not leave her feelings without reciprocity. Each meeting was like a volcanic eruption. Later, the actress will say that Mi-sha (she pronounced his name in such a drawn-out manner and in various ways) was impeccable in love.

Mikhail Baryshnikov and Liza Minnelli

But what could they give each other, besides this very passion? Reasoning about lofty matters and poetry soon bored the actress. Baryshnikov continued to dream, but she wanted the most ordinary, earthly love, with mutual obligations and a stamp in her passport. This he could not give her in any way.

By the time of the premiere of Baryshnikov on Broadway, Lisa Minnelli and Mikhail Baryshnikov had already stopped dating. They loved each other, but they could not be together. They just turned out to be too different … or too similar.

The name of Mikhail Baryshnikov is known all over the world. The brilliant dancer was born in Latvia, mastered the skill of ballet in Russia, and spent most of his life performing in the United States. During a tour in Canada back in 1974, Baryshnikov fled in the literal sense of the word, he understood that he would not be able to peacefully stay abroad. His whole further life showed that the choice was made correctly.

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