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Dance legend Mikhail Baryshnikov in a tuxedo smiles and claps. Photo by Richard MayerHonoring a Dance Legend

World-renowned dancer and Academy Award®-nominated actor Mikhail Baryshnikov was honored by San Francisco State University's International Center for the Arts (ICA) at a gala celebration held March 21.

Baryshnikov received ICA's $25,000 George and Judy Marcus Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his artistic accomplishments.

Alumni George and Judy Marcus, who created the ICA with a $3 million gift to San Francisco State, presented the award to Baryshnikov at "Bridging the Baltic: An Evening Honoring Mikhail Baryshnikov." The event, held at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, included a performance by the chamber orchestra Kremerata Baltica.

"I'd like to thank the San Francisco State International Center for the Arts and George and Judy Marcus, whose generosity and enthusiasm made all this possible," Baryshnikov told the audience. "I'm happy to be honored in a city that provided many wonderful performing experiences and continues to flourish as a haven for the arts."

After defecting to the U.S. in 1974, Baryshnikov served as principal dancer with the New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, and later as artistic director of the American Ballet Theatre. His newly established Baryshnikov Arts Center, a New York-based nonprofit, is a creative haven and laboratory for artists of all disciplines.

The ICA celebrates some of the world's most innovative art and artists, with a focus on documentary films and visual art. Musician Israel "Cachao" Lopez and filmmakers Richard Leacock and D.A. Pennebaker were the first three recipients of the Marcus Award for Lifetime Achievement.

-- Adrianne Bee


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