(b St Petersburg, 25 Sept. 1884; d Los Angeles, 16 Apr. 1951)
Russian-US dancer and choreographer. He trained at the Imperial Ballet School in St Petersburg with Karsavin and Legat, graduating in 1903. He also studied later with Cecchetti. In 1904 he joined the Mariinsky company (later the Kirov Ballet) additionally dancing with Anna Pavlova on her first tours abroad and with Diaghilev's Ballets Russes from 1909 to 1917. He resigned from the Mariinsky in 1911. A superb character dancer, he created roles in Fokine's Prince Igor (Chief Warrior), Le Carnaval (Pierrot), The Firebird (Ivan Tsarevich), Petrushka (the Moor), Thamar (the slave to Karsavina), Daphnis et Chloé (Dorkon), Le Coq d'or (King Dodon), and Midas (title role). For Diaghilev he choreographed Sadko (mus. Rimsky-Korsakov, 1916). He toured the US with Diaghilev in 1916 and 1917, after which he remained in the US. He produced and choreographed operas and ballets at the New York Metropolitan Opera House, the Chicago Civic Opera, and the San Francisco Opera, where founded the ballet school. He choreographed the first production of Stravinsky's Apollon musagète in Washington in 1928 (two months ahead of Balanchine's Paris premiere) and staged some of Fokine's ballets at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. For Ballet Theatre he choreographed Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf in 1940, which became one of the most popular ballets in ABT's repertoire. In Hollywood, where he eventually settled, he was choreographer for several films (The Mad Genius, The Men in Her Life, and Life of Cellini) and in 1932 created Ballet mécanique set to the music of Aleksandr Mosolov's The Iron Foundry, which was performed at the Hollywood Bowl (under the title The Spirit of the Factory).