Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gregory Hines in a scene from White Nights, with choreography credited to Twyla Tharp

Anthony Crickmay, Courtesy DM Archives

#TBT: Baryshnikov and Hines Star in 1985's White Nights

When White Nights opened in American theaters on December 6, 1985, it was a decidedly risky proposition. Mikhail Baryshnikov was a massive ballet star, but hadn't spent much time acting on camera. Gregory Hines was a lauded tap dancer on Broadway and in films, but had never been given a dramatic leading role. Yet director Taylor Hackford cast them opposite each other in a thriller.

Somehow, it worked—due in no small part to the decision to create characters based on the leading men's artistic personas. In the November 1985 issue of Dance Magazine, Hackford told us, "What I was trying to do was get at the root of what the frustration of their lives as artists has been."

With Baryshnikov as a ballet dancer who'd defected from Soviet Russia, Hines as a hoofer weary of being relegated to a "novelty" act, and the pair's uncommon chemistry during dance scenes that actually furthered the plot, White Nights today stands as a dance classic.

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Photo by Ema Peter, Courtesy University of Southern California, Glorya Kaufman School of Dance

More Than Just a Studio

There's a special connection between dancers and the studios where they spend countless hours—even years—developing their craft. That's why colleges that want to attract and nurture the very best talent invest in the very best resources—like top-quality flooring from a trusted manufacturer like Harlequin—to inspire and support their students both mentally and physically.

Check out these college dance studios—and their sweeping views, eye-catching design, and industry-leading Harlequin floors—that are soon to become a home away from home to the class of 2025.

July 2021