The good news is that Misha's new book Merce My Waysold out tonight at Barnes and Noble at Lincoln Center where he spoke and was interviewed by Joan Acocella.
The bad news is that Misha smiled way too much for Joan's liking and she had to straighten him up with a few glowering glances that would have made Madame Periaslavic proud.
Even though the event was advertised as Acocella interviewing Baryshnikov, there was very little interviewing going on. Misha spoke about whatever came to mind – touching on his new BAC facility to his decision to leave ABT to his acting to why he chose to photograph Merce Cunningham's company to his upcoming performance schedule.
The turnout for the event was impressive. The event enclosure was stuffed with bookbuyers and the line for non-bookbuyers who wanted to hear Misha speak snaked through the bible book section and way past the men's restroom on the 3rd floor of Barnes and Noble. It spilled over to the fourth floor cafe where people crowded around two television monitors that broadcast the event on the floor below. Listeners hung on his every word. This was not Kissinger or Greenspan or the Dalai Lama or Sean John Puffy. It was Baryshnikov. Interestingly enough, he has a following of people who genuinely want to hear him speak about his life. Well, it is an interesting life, isn't it? He's gone off in a lot of different directions quietly and modestly making a lasting impact on whatever he chooses to do.
Yes, listeners hung on every word. Haglund hoped to hear Misha say how much he still loved and missed Giselle and how sorry he was for betraying her, and above all, that his soul has never stopped aching for her. Perhaps that will be another interview – later in life.