Berkeley Rep invites you to a love story that could only unfold In Paris. Legendary performer Mikhail Baryshnikov takes the stage with Anna Sinyakina and a talented ensemble assembled by visionary director Dmitry Krymov. Based on a story by Nobel Prize-winner Ivan Bunin, In Paris is a dazzling new play set in the 1930s, which mixes movement with a romantic story and spectacular design. This rare international collaboration—told in French and Russian with English supertitles—unites renowned artists born in Russia for a vivid visual experience. Visit the city of light and love with Berkeley Rep, Baryshnikov and the Dmitry Krymov Laboratory.
“Spectacular but also intimate…An ephemeral dream of last romance, which floats from lovely to surreal [and] keenly captures the ache of solitude and the fleeting bliss of romance…Mikhail Baryshnikov scarcely dances at all until the haunting finale of In Paris. But the ballet legend shows such a genius for movement that his body language is an art unto itself in this fearlessly inventive theatrical adventure. The dancer has such a striking physical presence, even at 64, that he elevates the smallest movements into epic moments of truth. He is mezmerizing.”—San Jose Mercury News / Bay Area News Group
“Haunting and buoyant…Set in a 1930s ex-pat Paris embodied in cleverly manipulated giant sepia-tinted postcard images, Krymov’s Paris—adapted from a short story by Ivan Bunin—is a moody, wryly comic blend of engaging visuals, enchanting found-object music and a romance…Sinyakina is a delight [and] Baryshnikov holds the stage with seemingly effortless charisma, from before the show begins until its end. His concentrated, slow movements can be riveting. His short dance moments—a quick burst of frustrated flamenco; a graceful toreador routine (choreography by Alexei Ratmansky)—add welcome dramatic punctuation.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Yes, from day to day, from year to year, you wait in secret for only one thing—that moment when you’ll stumble onto happy love. Ultimately it is this hope alone that enables you to live…”—Ivan Bunin, “In Paris”
Art is fundamentally about taking chances: trundling through the unknown recesses of the unconscious to “make something.” Some artists take more chances than others, buoyed by the force of their circumstances, their personalities and their capacity to conquer their fear of disapproval. A rare few are so gifted and so courageous they stand as a beacon for the rest of us, their professional lives becoming successful testaments to both resiliency and grace. If they live for a long time, the body of their work transcends any individual project, and they come to exist in a special niche in our collective history. Such a person is Mikhail Baryshnikov.
It is a great honor to introduce Mr. Baryshnikov and his colleagues to our stage, precisely because he is still taking artistic chances. In Paris uses a nuanced, complex theatrical vocabulary of music, mime, video and excerpts of Russian and French to explore the relationship between an older man and a younger woman and its larger theme of profound loneliness. Easy emotional access is denied to the audience, forcing us to grapple with the fact that we are being asked to participate in an artistic experiment. What a gift for all of us! That an artist as great as Mr. Baryshnikov should focus his energies and creative resources on such a challenging project serves as a source of unmitigated inspiration.