Mikhail Baryshnikov: Trump's rhetoric reminds me of Soviet Union

Choreographer Mikhail Baryshnikov attends "An American In Paris" Broadway opening night at Palace Theatre on April 12, 2015 in New York City.

Story highlights

  • "People like me have fled countries led by dangerous totalitarian opportunists, like Donald Trump," he said
  • Humanity for Hillary is a collective group of artists campaigning to elect Hillary Clinton

Washington (CNN)World-renowned ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov says Donald Trump's words are reminiscent of rhetoric from his childhood in the Soviet Union.

"Hundreds of thousands of people like me have fled countries led by dangerous totalitarian opportunists, like Donald Trump. Don't let that happen to our beautiful United States of America," Baryshnikov says in a video posted by the group Humanity for Hillary.
    Humanity for Hillary is a collective group of artists campaigning to elect the Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton.
    "We're here to use art, creativity, and storytelling to talk about why Hillary is the best choice for Humanity," the organization's website reads.
    Baryshnikov studied ballet at the prominent Vaganova Academy in Saint Petersburg, back when it was called Leningrad, and spent time as a principal dancer with the Kirov Ballet before defecting from the Soviet Union, according to his biography at the Baryshnikov Arts Center.
    "Forty-two years ago, I left a country that built walls to come to a place without them," Baryshnikov says in the video -- an apparent jab at the GOP candidate's proposal to build a wall along the US-Mexico border. "America welcomed me, an immigrant, and that welcome has made my life possible."
    The cautioning comes as the Republican presidential candidate announced a campaign shake-up of his leadership team after weeks of negative headlines surrounding his campaign, and latest polls show he is lagging behind his Democratic rival.