Anton Dolin Foundation launched to preserve the creative heritage of one of Britain’s most influential artists


The Anton Dolin Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the creative heritage of Britain’s famed ballet dancer and choreographer Sir Anton Dolin, was launched December 2017 in Berlin, Germany. 

Created by Sir Anton Dolin’s protégé Jelko Yuresha, the Foundation will promote Sir Anton’s historical impact and significance as Britain’s first Danseur Noble and co-founder of Festival Ballet which is now the world renowned English National Ballet. The Foundation will also preserve and promote the unique creative heritage and productions of Sir Anton Dolin’s work. Dolin’s ballets Pas de Quatre and Variations for Four, as well as his productions of Giselle, Cinderella and La Peri will now be available only through the Foundation and through their preservation of the authentic choreographic and stylistic versions The Foundation will publish materials relating to the life and work of Sir Anton Dolin on its website, on social media, in print. The Foundation will also promote ballet performances of his notable works and conduct Festivals showcasing his outstanding cultural impact, making it more accessible to a wider audience. To enable the Foundation to realize its projects, it will be inviting sponsors, other cultural institutions, ballet companies, and the media to support its aims. Jelko Yuresha will serve as President of the Foundation with Michael Scheinin acting as it’s Executive Director. Principal dancer at the Berlin State Ballet, Mikhail Kaniskin, and Elisa Carrillo Cabrera will serve as the Foundation’s Artistic Directors. The Board of the Foundation is made up of several distinguished members including former Artistic Director of the Australian Ballet, Maina Gielgud AO as Artistic Advisor; Fred Binder as Legal Advisor; and Galina Scheinin as Administrative Associate. 

Biography of Sir Anton Dolin

Sir Anton Dolin, born Patrick Healey Kay, was the first internationally acclaimed British Danseur Noble, whose career began with Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes.  Together with Alicia Markova, Dolin was instrumental in the formation of the Vic-Wells Ballet, founded by Lilian Baylis and Ninette de Valois, which developed into The Royal Ballet. At that time, Dolin’s reputation was akin to that Rudolf Nureyev later enjoyed. In 1935, Markova and Dolin left the Vic-Wells Ballet to form their own company, the Markova-Dolin Ballet, which performed and toured for several years. The two young Diaghilev alumni formed one of the great partnerships of classical ballet. Anton Dolin first performed the role of Albrecht in 1937, partnering Olga Spessivtzeva, who taught him the role and coached him, passing on this ballet’s great tradition. After working with the great Russian ballerina, Dolin was inspired to stage his own production of the 19th century ballet, which was much acclaimed and performed around the world. In 1940, Dolin joined New York’s newly formed Ballet Theater as a principal dancer. He soon began to stage classics, such as Swan Lake and Giselle, for the company, as well as creating his own choreography, including his own version of Pas de Quatre. As a dancer, Dolin repeatedly found himself the male star in ballet companies that were launched under his auspices or in which he played an influential role. He became known as an excellent partner. Ninette de Valois defined his style as follows: “In the mid-1920s, his dancing brought a spark of virility to the male classical dance picture. It was Bronislava Nijinska who first brought out his particular virtuoso form of attack”. In 1949, Anton Dolin founded a new British company, Festival Ballet (which became London Festival Ballet in 1950) with Alicia Markova. As its Artistic Director and Principal Dancer until 1961, he presented an eclectic repertory and toured widely. As a result, the company helped to introduce ballet to many new audiences. The company is now known as English National Ballet. One of Dolin’s most famous stagings, Pas de Quatre, pays homage to 19th century Romantic ballet with his own choreography for four female dancers, who portray four celebrated ballerinas. In 1957, the choreographer created a modern counterpart for four male dancers in his virtuoso showpiece Variations for Four. In his early years, as Principal Dancer, Musical Theatre Artist and Actor, later as Artistic Director, Choreographer, Teacher, Coach and Lecturer, Dolin was a familiar figure in the international ballet and theatre world. A witty raconteur, he was the author of six books, including several memoirs. For his outstanding services to ballet throughout his life Anton Dolin was knighted in 1980 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll

Photo: Anton Dolin © Anton Dolin Foundation


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