For Russian artists, even staying neutral is a “powerful statement”, Mikhail Baryshnikov believes
FILE PHOTO. Mikhail Baryshnikov. © AP / Jordan Strauss
Mikhail Baryshnikov, a Soviet Latvian-born Russian-American ballet dancer, has called against targeting Russian culture and sports figures over the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
“An open exchange in the arts is always a good thing,” Baryshnikov told The Guardian in an interview published on Sunday. “I don’t think it’s right to put the weight of a country’s political decisions on the backs of artists, or athletes, who may have vulnerable family members in their home country. For people in those exposed positions, neutrality is a powerful statement.”
The ongoing situation is “a Rubicon for Russia”, the dancer, who defected from the Soviet Union to Canada back in 1974, warned. “Either it will find a way to end this current conflict and live in an open global society, or it will be thrust backwards with no hope of recovery,” he claimed.