Former Kirov dance Mikhail Baryshnikov, who defected from the the Soviet Union in 1974, may dance there again, a Bolshoi Ballet official and his manager said in New York Monday.
At the same time, plans were announced for the Bolshoi Ballet of the Soviet Union, absent from the United States for eight years, to return to this country this summer for a nine-week, cross-country tour ending in Los Angeles with 22 performances at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion of the Music Center, Aug. 11-30.
Yuri Grigorovich, artistic director and chief choreographer of the Moscow-based company, said that, as a result of the recent thaw in Soviet-United States relations, "complicated" negotiations are under way for Baryshnikov to possibly dance at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. No dates were announced.
Baryshnikov, however, has not decided on whether he will accept the invitation, his manager, Edgar Vincent, told the Associated Press.
Grigorovich extended the invitation Sunday night, and "Misha said, 'Let me think about that,"' according to Vincent.
Asked under what conditions Baryshnikov might return, Vincent replied: "I don't think that was even discussed. Grigorovich wanted Baryshnikov to know the Russian government would not frown about him coming, that detente is on, and they are trying to get some of the great Russian artists to reappear in Russia."
Baryshnikov has not performed in the Soviet Union since his defection in 1974. Since 1980, Baryshnikov has been artistic director of the American Ballet Theatre. Before that, he was a dancer in the company and in New York City Ballet.
Ironically, Baryshnikov starred in the 1985 motion picture "White Nights," which depicted the accidental and unwilling return to the Soviet Union of an acclaimed Russian dancer.
In its American tour, the Bolshoi will appear at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, June 30-July 18, then dance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., July 21-Aug. 1, go next to the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, Aug. 4-9, and close its tour in Los Angeles.
At the Bolshoi Ballet's opening night in New York, June 30, the company will dance Grigorovich's "The Golden Age," to Shostakovich's 1930 score. "The Golden Age" will also open the Los Angeles season, Aug. 11, at the Music Center. The Los Angeles engagement will be presented under auspices of the Nederlander organization. The Metropolitan Opera is co-sponsoring the tour.
The remainder of the tour repertory is choreography by Grigorovich: his staging of "Giselle" (after Petipa and others); the full-length "Raymonda" (after Petipa) and a mixed bill. All four programs will be given in Los Angeles.
Among the principal dancers, according to the New York press representative for the tour, will be Nina Ananiashvili, Natalya Bessmertnova, Tatyana Bessmertnova, Maria Bylova, Aleksei Fadeyechev, Andris Liepa, Irek Mukhamedov, Lyudmila Semenyaka, Nina Semizorova and Gediminas Taranda.