Mikhail Baryshnikov and Robert Wilson first worked together on The Old Woman, a theater piece based on the writings of absurdist Russian author Daniil Kharms. Baryshnikov co-starred with Willem Dafoe. For the 2015 Spoleto Festival, Wilson created Letter to a Man, a solo piece for Baryshnikov, using the diary of the iconic dancer Vaslav Nijinsky. The diary, which in part documents Nijinsky's descent into madness, was first published in 1936.
Henry Miller wrote about it: "It is a communication so naked, so desperate, that it breaks the mold. We are face to face with reality, and it is almost unbearable...had he not gone to the asylum we would have had in Nijinsky a writer equal to the dancer."