“Forever Parting from You, Friend”: a Brodsky/Baryshnikov mono-performance
We have finally seen the Brodsky/Baryshnikov mono-performance at the New Riga Theatre that provided mass cultural emigration to Riga and continues to deprive the audience of sleep and peace, and now tell you about it
“How glorious to see Baryshnikov in the evening, far away in All Russia. His talent has not faded! The effort of his leg and the cramp of his torso, with its rotation around its own axis.
give birth to that flight, which the soul has waited for as in virgins, ready to be angry! As for where to land, the earth is hard everywhere; I recommend the U.S.A.”.
These lines come from a poem that Joseph Brodsky dedicated to Mikhail Baryshnikov in 1976, calling it “To Mikhail Baryshnikov. Many things have changed in the time between Brodsky’s finale and the day when Baryshnikov walked onto the stage of the New Riga Theater with a suitcase in his hands, but one thing has remained unchanged: his talent that has not faded.
People began to talk about the Brodsky/Baryshnikov production at once and a lot. And from the very beginning it was sorrowfully predicted: tickets would be unavailable. The auditorium, which was designed for 470 people, clearly could not accommodate all the comers who occupied its box office and website. The most cherished dates disappeared from the latter one after the other, first for October, then for November, and there were lines at the box office, where people did not hesitate to take their places almost a day before the start of sales. The fact that those who managed to get a ticket will go “to Baryshnikov” by plane, train or car, was not a surprise at all – the chances that he will ever appear on the St. Petersburg or Moscow stage are still minimal. So for many viewers all this pre-premiere hype was part of the cult – they obviously did not mind suffering their ticket.
Mikhail Baryshnikov’s attitude towards all this hype can be easily expressed in a couple of phrases, or to be more precise, in a special announcement made in several languages before the start of the performance: “I would ask the actor personally not to film during the production. If you need it that badly, you can take them off during the bows. And everyone, as one, embittered by this “so badly you need it”, really turns their phones off and puts them away: not a single sound will be heard from the theater during the performance, to the envy of Moscow’s loudest premieres.
Meanwhile, on the stage there is only a glass pavilion, the frames of which, worn and peeling, remind of the former grandeur of the Russian estates. At least two cobwebs lurk in its corners for sure – there is no way without them, as well as without grasshoppers chirping somewhere in surrounding grass. In front of the entrance – two benches, one of which is an old tape recorder, ready to start its reels in any minute. The second is waiting for the hero. And so he walks through the pavilion, memories in his head and a shabby suitcase in his hand, sinks down on a bench and takes out a bottle of whisky, along with an alarm clock and a couple of volumes of Brodsky. After taking a sip, Baryshnikov begins reading, but not reciting, the poem – first, with a quiet mumble, to himself and only then to the audience.
“Going back to your homeland. Well,” 1961 will be one of the first to sound from this stage, as will “Honeymoon Slice,” a dedication to Marianna Basmanova, for Brodsky simply M. B.
“Never forget how the water whips into the wharf and how the air is stubborn – like a lifeline.”
The lines, uttered not by Brodsky, but by Baryshnikov, begin a reflection on aging, withering, and the inevitable death that follows, of which there is plenty in the poet’s texts. Both stage director Alvis Hermanis and Mikhail Baryshnikov repeatedly mentioned during the preparation for the performance that they had chosen poems that would not lead the spectator into metaphysical distances. Simplicity and brevity, which the stage director and dancer were looking for, also find a place in the choreography. Rising from the bench, Baryshnikov at times goes deep into the pavilion to turn into a butterfly or a centaur. He manages to throw off his jacket, roll up his pants, curl up on a chair, lie down on a bench. He doesn’t have to shout at all-he can be heard and listened to-and the accents are set by an occasional sparking junction box mounted somewhere near the entrance to the pavilion, and an alarm clock taken out of his suitcase that won’t forget to ring:
“There’s nowhere else to go. There’s no further
I can’t tell the difference between zlatoust and zlatoust.
And the alarm clock so ticks in silence,
like the house is going to explode in ten minutes.”
The house won’t explode, just like memories can’t blow up. The paint has peeled off, but the words haven’t worn off. Dancing and reciting the text, Baryshnikov takes the viewer behind him into a world in which he is simply Mouse. “Portrait of Venice in winter, where the birds are freezing in a niche, on the day of January 27th I give to the kindly Mouse. Forgive my English, but a hand, like a foot for dancing, is given to rope for a foreigner from afar,” Brodsky wrote, for example, congratulating his friend on his birthday. For him, Baryshnikov was not only a dancing genius, which, incidentally, he did not forget to constantly remind (just go back to the same dedication “Mikhail Baryshnikov” or conversations with Solomon Volkov), but also Misha, Mysha. Reading his friend’s poems, the dancer does not change his voice or his own gestures. Baryshnikov will turn to that very intonation, known to all, just once, and his speech will be immediately picked up by the winding reels of a tape recorder. The program for the performance is illustrated by a shot of Joseph Brodsky waving his hand and pointing into the distance, into which Mikhail Baryshnikov is also looking. The only words he leaves for himself during this hour and a half will be short: “And one last thing. Joseph wrote this poem when he was 17.” And then it will resound:
Together forever: 10 habits of couples who will never break up
An article for those who want to live together happily ever after.
Imagine, your friend calls and says she broke up with her boyfriend. She feels bad and wants you to come over. You get ready, drink your coffee, flip through the feed, and suddenly you see that your favorite actors have announced their divorce. You turn on your headphones and there’s someone singing about the cruelty of love and the loneliness of the heart . It makes me sick to my stomach, why is everyone around me breaking up? It’s not all bad, girl! People become single for all sorts of reasons. However, one of them is the inability to work on your relationship. Catch some secrets on how to keep love alive! P.S. All the tips work the other way around, too.
Kiss in the morning and evening.
This habit shows that you’re still in touch, even if you’re not spending time together during the day. Also, kissing makes us happier. And it’s all about oxytocin and serotonin, hormones that make us feel euphoric.
If you and your boyfriend don’t live together, make it a rule to send each other morning and evening messages. It’s a constant, soul-warming reminder: There’s a man somewhere who wakes up and goes to sleep with thoughts of you.
Talk about problems.
Turning a blind eye to grievances is a bad idea. Talk to each other as soon as you realize you don’t like something. Right away!!! Just don’t raise your voice, don’t insult, in general, discuss issues without complaint. You’re not against each other, but against the problem. You shouldn’t make it worse and put it off – it’s better to deal with things as they come up.
Flirt with each other.
Happy couples don’t stop saying kind and romantic words to each other, even if they’ve been in a relationship for a long time. Periodically remind your boyfriend that you like him, just like when you first met him. You can express your feelings with words, actions, gifts and surprises.
Spend time apart.
What are we going to watch tonight? What kind of pizza will we order? Where will we spend the weekend? It’s us, us, us everywhere… If your couple is of the extrovert+introvert type, the latter can quickly become distant. To avoid burnout, sometimes rest separately from each other: do not forget about friends, hobbies and parents. Let everyone have their own personal space and time. It may seem strange, but it really is the key to a happy relationship.
Many of us have stories of being compared to other children as children. It’s hurtful and unpleasant, and it’s unrealistic to motivate a person in that way. Try to get your point across in a different way, without comparison. After all, each of us wants to find support in our partner, not criticism.
Observe the “equal number of steps” rule.
“I will love for two,” is a phrase you often hear in movies. You guessed it yourself that it never works. For a normal relationship, it is important that both partners take the same number of steps toward each other. For example, he calls you to a cafe and you have a picnic in the park.
Of course, this is not about cheating and betrayal. But holding a grudge for minor mistakes is bad for the relationship and yourself. Try to listen to your partner and understand. If you can not forgive, tell him how you feel. Maybe behind this there is something more that needs to be worked out.
Love not only each other but yourself as well.
Start with the understanding that since you already are, you are irresistible and worthy of the best. You can let yourself have a bedtime cake, sleep through a lecture, or go to bed whenever you feel like it. It’s hard for both guys and girls to be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t love themselves.
Don’t sacrifice your interests.
Alas, many girls try so hard to get into their partner’s life that they completely forget about themselves. They are ready to go to a soccer match with their beloved, instead of the usual yoga, watch hateful action movies and even forget about meetings with girlfriends. If your boyfriend asks you to quit your job or hobby, gives up your loved ones, tries to change your appearance – that’s a red flag . Even if you love your partner immensely, such a relationship will be unhealthy and most likely end badly.
There may be another situation. Your boy is no abuser, he just likes soccer and action movies. Don’t try to show him that you have the same interests if you don’t. Relationships are about love, support and understanding, not sacrifice.