Sir Anton Dolin was born in Slinfold in Sussex, England. Dolin was trained by the notable Russian teachers Serafima Astafieva and Bronislava Nijinska. Anton joined the Corps de Ballet of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes in 1921. As a soloist with Diaghilev’s company, he created the leading role in Nijinska’s Train Bleu (1924) and an important role (one of two Servants) in George Balanchine’s Prodigal Son (1929). Dolin was also noted for such creations as Satan in Ninette de Valois’s Job (1931) and the title role in Michel Fokine’s Bluebeard (1941).
Dolin was a Principal danseur with the Vic-Wells Ballet (now Royal Ballet) in the 1930s where he danced with Alicia Markova. Later, Dolin and Markova went on to found the Markova-Dolin Ballet. In 1949, he and Markova founded another company that in 1950 became London’s Festival Ballet; Dolin was premier danseur and artistic director until 1961. He then organized and toured with the troupe Stars of the Ballet, worked as choreographer and director of the Rome Opera Ballet, and served as artistic adviser to Les Grands Ballets Canadiens.
As a Choreographer, Dolin's original ballets include Capriccioso (1940), The Romantic Age (1942), and Variations for Four (1957), a popular all-male divertissement. Dolin is particularly noted for his reconstruction (1941) of Jules Perrot’s classical divertissement, Pas de Quatre.
Dolin wrote several books, including the autobiography Ballet Go Round (1938) and Alicia Markova: Her Life and Art (1953). He was knighted in 1981, and died in Paris, France in 1983.
Olga was born in
In 1916, Diaghilev invited her to tour with his Ballets Russes in the
In 1932, Olga made another memorable guest appearance in
Olga suffered a nervous breakdown in 1943, and she was hospitalized. She remained institutionalized until 1963 when, with the help of her friends Anton Dolin and Felia Doubrovska, Olga was discharged and settled in Valley Cottage on the Tolstoy Farm. The Tolstoy Farm is a Russian community run by the Tolstoy Foundation in
The BBC put out a short programme about her life in 1964, and two years later Anton Dolin wrote a book about her. The title of both was 'The Sleeping Ballerina'.
Laurent graduated from Moscow's Bolshoi Ballet School in 1906. He danced alternatively between Diaghilev's Ballets Russes and Anna Pavlova's company. Laurent was one of Anna Pavlova's favorite dance partners and is seen in many photos with her including some done by famed photographer Hoppe.
Laurent died on June 18, 1956 in New Buffalo, Michigan at the young age of 68.
Vera Trefilova was born in Vladikavkaz in 1875. She studied at the
In 1917 Vera left
Markova was born Lilian Alicia Marks on December 1, 1910. Her family lived in a two bedroom flat in the
At the age of 13, Markova was observed in class by Diaghilev who was visiting
In 1935, Markova and Dolin left the Sadler Wells ballet to form their own touring company known as the Markova-Dolin Company. The company toured extensively for two seasons. Later in 1938 Markova joined the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, touring the world as the company’s star ballerina. The company was the first to tour ballet throughout the
Alicia was the first British dancer to become the Principal Ballerina of a ballet company, the first British dancer to be bestowed the title of Prima Ballerina Assoluta and is widley considered to be one of the greatest classical ballet dancers in history. She was a founder dancer of today's The Royal Ballet and was co-founder of the English National Ballet, a leading European ballet company based in
Mathilde was born in
She was the first Russian Aurora and the first Russian dancer to perform the 32 fouettés in
Lubov studied at the
Three years after Diaghilev's death, in 1932 she and her husband joined Col. de Basil's Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo. Lubov was Ballet Mistress. She remained with the Col. de Basil's company, until it folded in 1952. Lubov came out of retirement to create the title role in Davide Lichine's Francesca da Rimini (1937). In 1952 she settled in