Alexandre Volinine (1882-1955)

Many of the dancers who performed with the Ballets Russes did not become household names, but I have always said that every dancer who has appeared on a stage has in some way shaped the dance we enjoy today. It is hard to say why some names are remembered and others are lost in the archives. Perhaps it helps if you were involved in some scandal, or you died in a bizarre way!

Alexandre Volinine became a premier danseur noble at Moscow's Bolshoi Ballet immediately upon graduating from its school in 1921. He was Yekaterina Geltzer's partner in Diaghilev's Les Orientales (1910). Volinine left Diaghilev in 1912 to tour with Adeline Genée until 1914. He was Anna Pavlova's most famous partner, remaining with her for 12 years 1914-1925, longer than any of her other partners. He retired at the age of 44, to establish one of the best ballet schools in Paris.

(First published August 1995)

Next: Patricia Wilde (b. 1928)