September 25, 1884 - April 16, 1951
Adolph Bolm was a Russian-born American ballet dancer and choreographer of Scandinavian descent, a founding father of New York's Ballet Theatre.
Adolph Bolm – American by Chance or Fate
Adolph Rudolphovitch Bolm was born in Saint Petersburg and graduated from the Russian Imperial Ballet School, the alma mater of nearly all the Russian ballet dancers in the last half of the XIX century - first half of the XX century, in 1904. His talent and patronage of the experienced teacher Platon Karsavin allowed him to become a dancer with Mariinsky Ballet in the very same year, and his hard work allowed him to go on a European tour with Anna Pavlova after four years at the company.
The hard work and successes on the stage paid off even more, when he was invited to Diaghilev's famous Ballets Russes in Paris!
Then the fate intervened... In 1917, during an American tour by the Ballets Russes under Nijinsky, Bolm was seriously injured during the ballet Thamar. He was hospitalized for such a long time, that, after recovering, decided to leave the company and stay in the United States, the country that would become his new homeland.
Bolm went on to organize the Ballet Intime in New York and was later invited to choreographer for the New York Metropolitan Opera.
Bolm and ballerina Ruth Page appeared together in the cult experimental dance film Danse Macabre (1922), directed by Dudley Murphy.
In 1933 the San Francisco Opera established the San Francisco Opera Ballet (SFOB) and invited Bolm to be its ballet master. Just several months later SFOB begins presenting independent, all-dance programs, to universal acclaim! Bolm continued to work both in California and in New York through 1947.
And in 1940 five renown American choreographers, including Bolm, joined their forces to found New York's Ballet Theatre. Symbolically, his last appearance on stage was in 1943 in Petrushka, performed at the Hollywood Bowl with the Ballet Theatre, and his last choreography was for San Francisco Opera Ballet - Mephisto, created in 1947.
Adolph Bolm died in Los Angeles at the age 67.
Parker-Jeanette, Cyrus. "Wandering Dancer: Adolph Bolm Materials Donated to Music Division". Library of Congress. 4 April 2012
Steinberg, Cobbett and Russell Hartley (1983). San Francisco Ballet: The First Fifty Years. San Francisco, CA: San Francisco Ballet Association