From the Archives: Mikhail Baryshnikov dances to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Requiem’

March 4, 1986: Mikhail Baryshnikov, Alessandra Ferri dance central roles in Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s
March 4, 1986: Mikhail Baryshnikov and Alessandra Ferri dance central roles in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Requiem,"choreographed by Kenneth MacMillan.
(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA)

In 1986, choreographer Kenneth MacMillan created a ballet set to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Requiem.” Dancers Mikhail Baryshnikov and Alessandra Ferri performed the ballet for the American Ballet Theatre.

In a March 6, 1986 article, Los Angeles Times critic Martin Bernheimer wrote:

Some people will do anything to be popular. Sir Kenneth MacMillan, for instance, will make a ballet out of Andrew Lloyd Webber's banal, meretricious, hyper-eclectic, Grammy-winning Requiem. And Mikhail Baryshnikov, our white-Russian knight in excelsis, will dance in it.

Tuesday at Shrine Auditorium, American Ballet Theatre used the new "Requiem" as the centerpiece for its high-priced, whiz-bang, opening-night gala.

Essentially, the program represented a reasonably glamorous, old-fashioned, balletic-vaudeville mishmash .…

In 40 vicissitudinous minutes, MacMillan and Lloyd Webber provide stirring political messages, deep mystical experiences, instant religious uplift and slick capital-C Culture — all with molasses stuffing and candy coating ….

Bernheimer’s full article Lloyd Webber ‘Requiem,’ MacMillan Style is online.

See more from the Los Angeles Times archives here