Mikhail Baryshnikov’s latest project, “Man in a Case,” made a spectacular premiere at Hartford Stage last weekend. The show is unique: a stage adaptation of two Anton Chekov short stories, presented one after the other.
Under the direction of Brooklyn–based Big Dance Theater’s Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar, Baryshnikov and six cast members blend pedestrian choreography and gestures with dialogue and video projections to drive action and illustrate emotion in the play.
With his resonant speaking voice, spot-on comedic timing and, of course, his movement, the ballet icon draws in the audience. Even his hand gestures mesmerize. And just before the end of the first story dance fans are rewarded with a brief but entrancing Baryshnikov solo. It lasts just thirty seconds, but the moment of pure Misha movement is, in itself, worth the price of admission.
Photo by T. Charles Erickson