Here's what Mikhail Baryshnikov, fresh from filming a new movie, had to say last night about his future in films:
"No future," he said. "No, I don't think so. I am not an actor. I am a dancer . . . We wait to see the film before we comment."
Baryshnikov, Soviet defector and superstar ballet dancer, was center stage last night at the American Ballet Theatre's gala dinner to celebrate the company's new production, "Romeo and Juliet." About 500 assembled at the Mayflower Hotel to drink champagne, dance and stare at him. He's shorter than the pictures indicate.
The question of the evening was whether Baryshnikov, who came close to not renewing his contract as ABT's artistic director this year, will actually stay on. Of course, no one was saying.
"Well, I haven't heard much speculation about it recently," said Amanda McKerrow, the young Rockville woman who became a local celebrity when she won the gold medal at the 1981 International Ballet Competition in Moscow, and subsequently joined ABT. "He did come back to us after doing the movie, and we're so grateful to have him."
Said Baryshnikov, when asked: "Why not?"
The second question of the night was whether Leslie Browne, the ABT dancer who also starred with Baryshnikov in "The Turning Point" and who will be the new Juliet, was actually wearing a $10,000 Scaasi gown.
"Yes, I always wear his gowns," she said. "He loans them to me. I know him and he says any time I want, I can borrow one. I have to return this one soon."
Tickets for last night's dinner were $250 each, or $500 for a bonus ticket to "Romeo and Juliet." ABT opens here tonight, but "Romeo and Juliet" will premiere later in the run.
Among the guests were Sargent and Eunice Shriver; the first lady's spokesman, Sheila Tate; U.S. Information Agency director Charles Z. Wick; and Maxwell Rabb, the U.S. ambassador to Italy, who flew in for the party.
In the end, they danced to "New York, New York," and everyone got an entire almond custard pie as a favor. The pies were courtesy of the dinner's chairman, Adrienne Arsht Feldman, who also happens to own The Mom's Apple Pie Co.
"Don't hype that up," advised an executive of the ABT board. "I mean it's no big deal. It's just a pie."