|LETTER TO A MAN|
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Iconic director Robert Wilson and legendary performer Mikhail Baryshnikov are joining artistic forces to create a new performance work based on the famous diaries of Russian dancer and choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky who, in his prime, was recognized as the most celebrated male dancer in the Western world, performing with Sergei Diaghilev’s renowned Ballets Russes. The project is the second collaboration for Mr. Wilson and Mr. Baryshnikov, whose production of Daniil Kharms’ The Old Woman, featuring Mr. Baryshnikov and Willem Dafoe, has been touring nationally and internationally to critical acclaim.
Of Nijinsky’s diaries, first published in 1936, American author Henry Miller wrote: “It is a communication so naked, so desperate, that it breaks the mold. We are face to face with reality, and it is almost unbearable...had he not gone to the asylum we would have had in Nijinsky a writer equal to the dancer.”
Letter to a Man is a theatrical work performed by Mikhail Baryshnikov, who enters the fragmented mind of the great dance artist as he descends into madness. As always in Wilson’s works movements, text, lights, set and music are equal parts of the same creation where, as he says, "all theatre is dance."
As Robert Wilson’s staging of the Diaries of Vaslav Nijinsky opens, we find Mikhail Baryshnikov as the troubled dancer in Budapest in 1945. He and his wife have found refuge with her family. These are the final weeks of World War II and battles between German and Russian soldiers rage in the destroyed streets. Nijinsky’s mental health had broken down in Switzerland at the close of the First World War. His Diaries are an extraordinary document of his struggle not to go mad and to understand what was happening to him. When he stopped writing his Diary, he locked himself away, as in a tomb. There he remained for more than two decades, watched over by his wife. But as another catastrophe in Europe