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Baryshnikov to deliver NU commencement address

Mikhail Baryshnikov | AP

Mikhail Baryshnikov | AP

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Updated: January 30, 2013 12:22PM

Mikhail Baryshnikov will receive an honorary degree and deliver the main address at Northwestern University’s 155th commencement on June at the university’s Ryan Field.

The world-renowned ballet dancer, more recently known for his role as Alex Petrovsky, a Russian artist (and Sarah Jessica Parker’s love interest) in the final season of the hit HBOseries, “Sex in the City,” took his earnings from that show to subsequently establish the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York, where, since 2005, he has supported and showcased the work of artists in many disciplines. The arts center features a small black box studio as well as a 238-seat theater, and serves approximately 500 artists and more than 22,000 audience members annually through presentations and artist residencies. He also has become a widely exhibited photographer.

In 1977 Baryshnikov received a best supporting actor Oscar nomination for his work in the film “The Turning Point.” He was awarded an Emmy for “Baryshnikov on Broadway” with Liza Minelli in 1980. He received a Drama Desk Award in 1989 for his theatrical and Broadway debut portraying Gregor Samsa in Steven Berkoff’s adaptation of Franz Kafka’s “Metamorphosis.” Other theater projects include Rezo Gabriadze’s “Forbidden Christmas,” Joann Akalaitis’ “Beckett Shorts” and Dimitri Krymov’s adaptation of Ivan Bunin’s short story “In Paris.”

Baryshnikov is currently developing “Man in a Case,” a theatrical adaptation of Chekov’s short story, directed by Paul Lazar and Annie B-Parson for a March premiere at Hartford Stage.

Baryshnikov has received numerous honors including a 2000 honor from the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the National Medal of the Arts (2000), the Jerome Robbins Award (2005) and the University Chubb Fellowship (2003-04). In 2010, he was named an Officer of the French Legion of Honor.

The NU ceremony takes place at 9:30 a.m. June 21 at the university’s Ryan Field.

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