“In search of the spirit of a people,” Mikhail Baryshnikov’s Dominican Moves investigates the connection between dance and larger notions of national ethos. The Dominicans have amalgamated their rich musical heritage into a range of different dance styles including Son, Bachata, Merengue, and most recently, Reggaeton. In Dominican Moves, Mikhail Baryshnikov strives to capture this national affection for movement. Exploring locations ranging from roadside cafes to exotic dance halls, Mikhail Baryshnikov captures Dominicans in graceful arabesques of light and shadow. With particular attention to the character of movement, “its energy and the space around it,” Dominican Moves catches motion in brilliant casts of iridescent light.
Born in Riga, Latvia in 1948 to Russian parents, Mikhail Baryshnikov first achieved international acclaim as a dancer with the Kirov Ballet, and later as the principal dancer with the American Ballet Theater and the New York City Ballet. Baryshnikov’s introduction to photography was filtered through the constrained lens of Soviet Russia; however by his late teens he was exposed to the more expressive work of Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Edward Weston, and Henri Cartier-Bresson. In the mid 1980’s, after encouragement from photographer friends, Baryshnikov began to seriously investigate the world through a viewfinder. Incorporating Weston’s sinuous line, and Bresson’s rendering of the moment, Baryshnikov’s Dominican Moves captures the sensuality and profound intimacy of his subjects.
Mikhail Baryshnikov’s photographs have been exhibited in a variety of museums and galleries all over the world including: The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow; The Latvian National Opera House, Riga; The St. Petersburg History of Photography Museum, St. Petersburg; The Cortona Festival del Sole, Cortona, Spain; The Gallery at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York; The Movado Gallery, New York; The Kennedy Center; Washington D.C. and The Gibbes Museum, Charleston, North Carolina.