from the movie White Nights (1985) with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gregory Hines.

the movie is about a russian dancer who defected to the United States and is being held against his will in soviet Russia 8 years after he escaped.  it was made at the height of the Cold War; so, naturally, it is filled to the brink with pro-American propaganda and anti-Communist sentiment… but it’s still a pretty great film, and has amazing shots of St. Petersburg and Baryshnikov dancing classical and modern ballet.

in this scene, Baryshnikov dances to Vladimir Vysotky’s song “Horses”, which is about freedom and escape. Vysotsky was one of the most popular folk singer/song writers of the 60/70s in the former Soviet Union, and i think his poetry was outlawed in Russia due to its anti-establishment nature, but don’t quote me on that.  also, he dances inside the historical and breathtaking Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg (

link to a translation of the song’s lyrics (but much is lost in translation):


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April 25, 2009 · 10:11 pm

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