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 Mikhail Fokin


Born:   April 26, 1880
Deceased:   1942

Ballet dancer

      

Mikhail Fokin was a groundbreaking ballet master and dancer. His ballets made a notable phenomenon in ballet art of the 20th century; many of them are still on the repertoire of leading theatres of the world.

Born on April 26, 1880 Mikhail Fokin entered St.-Petersburg Theatre College at the age of nine. In 1898 he made his debut as a dancer in the ballet Pakhita on stage of the Mariinsky Theatre.

Inborn talent and artistry enabled him to step forward as the leading soloist of the ballet troupe. He danced first parts in academic productions, such as Don Quixote, Raimonda, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, etc. He also performed in character dances and later danced in his own productions of Shopeniana, Dafnis and Hloya, Carnival and Fiery Bird.

In 1905 he debuted as a ballet master to become a choreographer of the Mariinsky in five years.

Fokin created plotless ballet as a separate genre, making use both of the classical ballet (Shopeniana) and character dance (Aragon Hunting).

Fokin attracted many well-known artists (A. Benua, L. Bakst, M. Dobuzhinsky, N. Roerich, S. Sudeikin, N. Goncharova and A. Golovin) and composers (I. Stravinsky, S. Rachmaninov and A. Glazunov) to work with him on his ballets.

In 1901 through 1910 he taught at St.-Petersburg Theatre College. In 1909 - 1912 and 1914 he was the art director, ballet master and dancer at the Russian Seasons and Russian Ballet of Dyagilev. Fokin danced till 1933.

From 1921 he lived in the USA and headed a ballet studio in New York from 1924 to 1942. In between he managed to work in theatre 'Kolon' in Buenos Aires (1931), in Paris Opera (1934 - 1935), in Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo company (1936) and in Ballet Russe de Basil (1937 - 1939).

In addition to the above mentioned ballets Fokin created Dying Swan, Shekherezada, Polovets Dances, Golden Cockerel, Eros, Vision of a Rose, etc.

Mikhaik Fokin also wrote a book of memoirs 'Upstream' and a number of articles on ballet.

He died in New York in 1942.
 


Tags: Russian culture Russian ballet Mikhail Fokin   




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