SHORT TAKES : Emigre Artists Help Leningrad

From Times Staff and Wire Service Reports

Mikhail Baryshnikov has decided to help restore monuments in Leningrad, where he began his ballet career, by donating a Picasso worth at least $250,000 to a telethon.

A “revival telethon” will be held at the Leningrad Opera and Ballet Theater Jan. 6-7, and will attract business leaders, scholars and cultural figures from 100 nations, the Soviet news agency Tass reported Wednesday.

The telethon will help save the city’s crumbling landmarks and create a Russian emigre center, Tass said.

Other emigre artists who have agreed to participate in the event include cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and dancers Natalia Makarova and Rudolf Nureyev.


Baryshnikov, 42, defected from the Soviet Union in 1974 and later became a U.S. citizen. He attended the Vaganova Ballet School in Leningrad when he was 14 and later joined the Kirov Ballet.