Here’s a video of Baryshnikov and Gabriella Komleva performing Don Quixote in Japan when the Kirov toured there in 1971. Thank you to “Ballet Lover” for finding it and posting it in the comments of my Bolshoi / Don Quixote post.
What a treat! (there’s another one of him dancing the same pdd even earlier, in 1969, in that same comment). It’s interesting because the athletics exhibited by today’s dancers are so much more astounding (one thing I’d forgotten to mention about the Bolshoi’s DQ is that in those thrilling one-handed overhead lifts, Vasiliev would not only stand on one leg when doing them, but would go on releve as well, making the audience go nuts with applause) but this older version is still so glorious. In a way that I can’t exactly put my finger on it seems to have even more grandeur. You know what I mean? I’ll post the other video “Ballet Lover” linked to as well, so you can see what I mean. (This one’s with Lyudmila Semenyaka.) I wonder where they’re performing in this one?
Also in regards to Japan, my friend Marie, who comments here frequently and has begun writing a lot about ballet on her own blog – her family owns and operates a Buddhist monastery in Northern Japan. So please keep her in your thoughts right now. She wrote a really beautiful book, Picking Bones From Ash, which recently came out in paperback and Kindle, which takes place largely in Japan. I read it before I knew Marie very well, and I really loved the book; it really made me want to visit Japan.
UPDATE: Marie has an OpEd in today’s New York Times about her memories of Northern Japan, and about her family’s temple (I was wrong to call it a Buddhist monastery – it’s a Buddhist temple).