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Baryshnikov combines dance, photography

March 16, 2008 at 4:27 PM

NEW YORK, March 16 (UPI) -- Famed Russian dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov has managed to combine dancing with his new love, photography, for a New York art show.

The former ballet dancer, who defected to Canada in 1974, says he initially was hesitant to combine the two artistic mediums, the New York Daily News reported Sunday.

"I'd never really photographed dance," Baryshnikov said, "because I felt it was kind of too obvious and stupid."

But in working with choreographer Merce Cunningham, Baryshnikov found a colorful way to portray them both for a gallery showing set to open Tuesday.

"I want the audience to look at the image and imagine the movements that happen a second prior to the shot and a second after," the dancer said of his blended photographic style.

When asked if he would ever partake in the complex maneuvers he photographed for the show, the 60-year-old told the Daily News the Cunningham Company was simply too demanding.

"Merce's pieces are so difficult," Baryshnikov said. "They are for young people."

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