Letter to a Man
Closed 1h 10m
Letter to a Man

Letter to a Man NYC Reviews and Tickets

(9 Reviews)
Members say
Ambitious, Intense, Indulgent, Confusing, Thought-provoking

About the Show

Mikhail Baryshnikov steps into the splintering psyche of a legendary 20th-century dancer in Robert Wilson's staging of Vaslav Nijinsky’s diaries.

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Member Reviews (9)

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Ambitious, Masterful, Thought-provoking, Intense, Riveting

See it if you are open to a unique theatrical experience performed by a master of the performing arts. Brilliant, disturbing and an assault on normal

Don't see it if you need coherent plot, logic and a sense of order. You must suspend normal expectations to dive into the mind of someone disturbed

Disappointing, Excruciating, Painful, Repetitive, Just plain bad

See it if love Baryshnikov, like repetition

Don't see it if you have a choice

Critic Reviews (8)

The New York Times
October 21st, 2016

"An opaque and frustrating work of dance theater...Mr. Baryshnikov is a captivating presence...Unfortunately, for all Mr. Baryshnikov’s efforts, 'Letter to a Man' remains stubbornly obscure and theatrically lifeless, despite a wildly eclectic soundtrack...For those unfamiliar with the diaries (as I mostly am), bewilderment and eventually boredom are likely to be the primary reactions to the show...I’m afraid 'Letter to a Man' does more of a disservice to Nijinsky than it honors him."
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The Hollywood Reporter
October 22nd, 2016

"This dance-theater production squanders both its star and its provocative subject matter with its enervating concept and pretentious self-regard...The experimental theater director has been regurgitating his stylistic tropes for so long that they have become a virtual parody of themselves...At age 68, Baryshnikov remains a marvel to behold, moving with seemingly effortless grace and precision...It's all the more a shame, then, that his talents in this case haven't been put to better use."
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October 24th, 2016

"Unfortunately, this collaboration of exciting artists tackling a fascinating subject lands at BAM's Harvey Theater with a disappointing thud...While Wilson's style of controlled movement and textual repetition seems particularly suited to Nijinsky's short, declarative sentences, the stage treatment never really reaches beyond the superficial...In lieu of dramatic tension, Wilson at least treats us to his typical dosage of visual stimulation."
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October 25th, 2016

"Robert Wilson’s signature emotionless, measured approach is in effect. Within its framework, however, Baryshnikov not only delivers infinitely slow-motion choreography but also robotic/staccato gestures, seemingly loose, vaudevillian dance turns, and a bit of graceful Fred Astaire. (Don’t look for actual ballet.)...Baryshnikov is riveting throughout...This intentionally disjointed piece is often trying but also intriguing."
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Financial Times (UK)
October 21st, 2016

"Like a Rorschach test, you can probably find whatever you’re looking for in all this, and Wilson and Baryshnikov never cease to conjure an engaging sensory spectacle...What’s missing is appropriate musical accompaniment. Hal Willner’s score often sounds platitudinous...'Letter to a Man' consequently never quite replicates the hypnotic strangeness of Wilson’s greatest work...Wilson also seems a bit too content to keep recycling the same tropes and techniques."
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Theatre Reviews by John Clum
October 24th, 2016

"The reviewers seemed to find it incoherent and dull. We (my husband and I) found it fascinating and quite clear in its intention...At sixty-eight, Baryshnikov, one of the greatest dancers of the twentieth-century (I am glad I saw him in his prime with ABT and the City Ballet), is still a potent performer. Baryshnikov has always been open to new challenges. He moves gracefully and is blessed with an expressive face."
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NY Theatre Guide
October 23rd, 2016

"Music associated with Nijinsky is never heard, but Baryshnikov occasionally quotes him in movement...He is riveting. It is a joy and the ultimate dance lesson watching him walk across or backwards in one memorable sequence...'Letter to a Man' never pretends to be an homage to its subject. What it allows is one great dancer inhabiting another and all the terribleness accompanying his legacy."
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Village Voice
October 25th, 2016

"Nijinsky's a role Baryshnikov was born to play...Visual marvels by Wilson, including a breakaway straitjacket, the figure of Diaghilev floating in a bathtub, a flaming sword that melts into a crucifix, and a cutout child leading a large, flat chicken across the stage, illustrate the evolving madness...But finally it is Misha's dancing, light and fleet soft-shoe steps below his white tie and tails, that tears at the heart."
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