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Ballet Baryshnikov

December 08, 1985

Mikhail Baryshnikov, as per Martin Bernheimer ("Baryshnikov Weighs His Options," Dec. 1), says he wants to make stars within the ranks of American Ballet Theater.

Unfortunately, the two greatest stars made within the ranks of the company--Fernando Bujones and Gelsey Kirkland--find themselves, at their primes, not within ABT but without, because Baryshnikov as company director has been unable to deal with the eccentricities of their artistic genius. Baryshnikov's own artistic genius seems to lie in fields other than management.

If Baryshnikov is unable to dance regularly, unwilling to choreograph and prone to drive off his best dancers, of what use is he to ABT beyond allowing the company to rather cheaply exploit his name on the basis of his past achievements in dance and his present and future achievements in film?

LARRY BARKER

Los Angeles

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