Baryshnikov Becomes a Yank July 3

Associated Press

Ballet star Mikhail Baryshnikov, who defected from the Soviet Union in 1974, will become a U.S. citizen along with 500 other people during Liberty Weekend festivities on Ellis Island.

Baryshnikov will take the oath of allegiance before dancing to composer George Gershwin’s music July 3 in the weekend’s opening show, which President Reagan is expected to attend.

The 37-year-old dancer, who is the director of the American Ballet Theater, defected 12 years ago while touring Canada with the Kirov Ballet. He stayed in the United States with defector status until 1980, when he received a work visa.