Queer Places:
Slinfold Manor, Toat Hill, Horsham RH13 0TE, UK

Sir Anton Dolin (27 July 1904 – 25 November 1983)[1] was an English ballet dancer and choreographer. When Wilde came up in conversation, Anton Dolin’s father said, ‘Never utter that vile man’s name again.’ Dolin comments: ‘This of course only set my brain in motion, and from then until now I have read and listened to all I could glean about this tragic playwright.’ As a young actor in his early teens, Dolin had an admirer called Charles, who used to write him letters and send him gifts until his father found the letters and forbade him to see the man again. Dolin writes: ‘From then on I became suspicious of every look and any sign of the simplest affection, avoiding it in case it was wrong. And it was wrong to read Oscar Wilde, as I did again with deeper understanding. Was Charles another of those haunted creatures? Was I another Alfred Douglas?’

Dolin was born in Slinfold in Sussex as Sydney Francis Patrick Chippendall Healey-Kay but was generally known as Patrick Kay. He trained at Serafina Astafieva's school at The Pheasantry in London's King's Road.[2] He joined Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes in 1921, was a principal there from 1924, and was a principal with the Vic-Wells Ballet in the 1930s. There he danced with Alicia Markova, with whom he went on to found the Markova-Dolin Ballet and the London Festival Ballet.

He joined Ballet Theatre when it was formed in 1940 and remained there as a dancer and choreographer until 1946.[3]

Dolin wrote several books, including the autobiography Ballet Go Round (1938) and Alicia Markova: Her Life and Art (1953).[4] He was knighted in 1981. He is featured in the documentary film A Portrait of Giselle.

In 1975 Anton Dolin and his friend John Gilpin spent a year in Capri together.

Portrait of Anton Dolin, in Italian Suite] | Library of Congress
by Carl Van Vechten

He was the subject of This Is Your Life in April 1978 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews at London's Royal Academy of Dance.

Upon Dolin’s death, dancers Jelko Yuresha and Belinda Wright inherited the rights to his choreography of Giselle, Pas de Quatre, and his acclaimed original ballet, Variations for Four. Yuresha and Wright danced—and later staged—productions of these ballets with dance companies around the world, designing original costumes and sets for those performances.[5]

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