RIGA, April 27 (Xinhua) -- Mikhail Baryshnikov, the world-famous, Riga-born ballet dancer and actor, became a Latvian citizen on Thursday when lawmakers decided to grant his citizenship request.
Altogether, 87 out of 100 Members of Parliament (MPs) voted in support of a decree granting Baryshnikov Latvian citizenship. Earlier, the draft decree was signed by representatives of all parliamentary factions.
Baryshnikov has received the Latvian citizenship based on special merit.
Baryshnikov will now hold a dual citizenship of Latvia and the United States.
Before moving to Russia at the age of 15, Baryshnikov learned the basics of ballet dancing at Riga Choreography School. After rising to fame as a Soviet Union ballet star, Baryshnikov defected to Canada in 1974 and later moved to the United States where he enjoyed an illustrious career as a dancer and actor.
In recent years, Baryshnikov has also been involved in a number of creative projects in Latvia. In 2016, he starred in Latvian director Alvis Hermanis' stage production Brodsky/Baryshnikov at the Riga New Theater, and this year Letters to a Man, a tribute to celebrated dancer Vaslav Nijinsky, played by Baryshnikov, premiered at the Latvian National Opera and Ballet.