I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself.

— Mikhail Baryshnikov

The most killer Mikhail Baryshnikov quotes you will be delighted to read

Divinity of art, it's such a mystery.

How to convince people that no matter how much money you can spend on education and art education especially, that it implants, it directs a young person for the rest of their lives, and always in the most humane and positive and dignified manner.


No dancer can watch Fred Astaire and not know that we all should have been in another business.


There comes a moment in a young artist's life when he knows he has to bring something to the stage from within himself. He has to put in something in order to be able to take something.


The essence of all art is to have pleasure in giving pleasure


Dance is an ephemeral, a fleeting art.

To describe this momentum, every movement on stage, in words is virtually impossible.


I found that dance, music, and literature is how I made sense of the world.

.. it pushed me to think of things bigger than lifes daily routines... to think beyond what is immediate or convenient.


Perfection is a theory. You cannot be a perfect human being, perfect artist. You cannot be a perfect husband, you cannot be a perfect father probably and probably I am not. But go through your daily routine with hope you will be a little better in all respects, and do something meaningful


What do dancers think of Fred Astaire? It's no secret.

We hate him. He gives us a complex because he's too perfect. His perfection is an absurdity. It's too hard to face.


To achieve some depth in your field requires a lot of sacrifices.


Just sit and open your eyes and open your heart. It's dance theater.


The problem is not making up the steps but deciding which ones to keep.


I want to see people dance, and I would like to guess what kind of people they are. I don't want to know the recipe for their pasta.


About Mikhail Baryshnikov

Quotes 49 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Dancer
Birthday October 16

I've always said, 'I am a selector, I am not defector' - the first few phrases in English I learned. I said I hate 'defector'; something defective about the people. It's a bad word.


I don't try to dance better than anybody but myself.


You cannot dance physically certain things.

But look at tango dancers or flamenco or Japanese classical theater. You can, if you're smart enough and you collaborate with the right choreographers, you could really dance your age.


Fundamentals are the building blocks of fun.


When I'm alone, I work sometimes with music, sometimes without and sometimes just listening to NPR.


It's weird when you see pieces of choreography that were done for you 15 or 20 years ago and now they are being done by another dance company.


What brought me to the theater, no matter you're a Jew or a Russian or Armenian or Latvian, are suddenly illuminated by stage light and one beautiful image of dance.


A theater is such a revealing form of art, such a transparent and good actors, they're such powerful individuals. I always kind of dreamt that one day I will open my mouth on stage.


You don't measure life by receiving awards.


I gave away a lot of works for benefits and then people would also give me back.


It's what's left in life, to work with interesting people.


Nothing is ever too expensive if it furthers the repertoire and artistic standards of a dance company.


When a body moves, it's the most revealing thing.

Dance for me a minute, and I'll tell you who you are.


I fell in love with New York. It was like every human being, like any relationship. When I was a young New Yorker, it was one city. When I was a grown man, it was another city. I worked with many dance organizations and many wonderful people. In the '90s, it became kind of a hard and unwelcoming city in many ways. It became conservative, like the whole country.


I adored my mother, and I will always have extraordinary memories about her and remember her, and she opened the doors for me to appreciate arts.


I like the most provocative and most surprising partnerships on stage. Intensity and surprise.


It doesn't matter how high you lift your leg.

The technique is about transparency, simplicity, making an earnest attempt.


You invest into the future, and that's how young people become human in best sense of it - through the great experience of listening a Müller symphony or to see a great play by Tennessee Williams, experience something in a ballet, in a film.


I always had a kind of strange relationship with New York City, with total love affair in the beginning then retreat during the kind of conservatives of politics and real estate and business came, and then I am again kind of fighting for the justice to the city, to open the city for the artists.


He is a male butterfly without the wings - the same kind of grace of a very young horse, so angular.


I am teaching more. That is what I do best.


I - you know, I'm not an actor.


You can be totally involved, you could admire just the shape of or you could be totally emotionally mushed up into the dance.


No one is born a dancer. You have to want it more than anything.


We're trying to stretch our muscles creatively. It gives us so much more freedom.


People dance at any age.


I am not trying to do material which I cannot do full out.


I was never like, "collect, collect," like people who go to auctions.

I never spent a serious amount of time because I don't have any time!


Dance is one of the most revealing art forms.


If your only dance experience is the Nutcracker, it will be a shock;

hopefully shocking in a good way.


What people will do to get away from boredom!


Acting is not my language at all.


I am not the first straight dancer or the last.


Working is living to me.


To walk across the street is a risk.


Be. Good. To yourself, to other people, to everything you do. It's a norm of life by which people should try to live. Don't waste time. Be interesting and interested.

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