Jean Börlin


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(b Haernosand, 13 Mar. 1893; d New York, 6 Dec. 1930)

Swedish dancer and choreographer. He was responsible for the entire repertoire of the Paris-based Ballets Suédois in the 1920s. He trained at the Royal Theatre in Stockholm and entered the corps de ballet in 1905. A protégé of Fokine, he left the company in 1918 to continue working with the Russian choreographer in Copenhagen. The Swedish patron Rolf de Maré financed a dance recital for him in Paris in 1920. When de Maré founded the Ballets Suédois in Paris that same year, Börlin became its star performer and sole choreographer. His many ballets revealed a wide-ranging and avant-garde choice of subject-matter and he worked with many of the leading composers (Milhaud, Honegger) and painters (Léger, Bonnard, de Chirico) in France in the 1920s. A list of his works includes Iberia (mus. Albéniz, 1920), Les Vierges folles (mus. Atterberg, 1920), La Nuit de Saint Jean (mus. Alfvén, 1920), Jeux (mus. Debussy, 1920), L'Homme et son désir (mus. Milhaud, 1921), Les Mariés de la Tour Eiffel (mus. Tailleferre, Auric, Honegger, Milhaud, Poulenc, 1921), La Boite à joujoux (mus. Debussy, 1921), Skating Rink (mus. Honegger, 1922), La Création du monde (mus. Milhaud, 1923), Relâche (mus. Satie, 1924), and La Jarre (mus. Casella, 1924). After the Ballets Suédois disbanded, Börlin gave recitals in South America and Paris before his premature death at the age of 37. He also appeared in two films directed by René Clair: Entr'acte (1924, part of Relâche) and Le Voyage imaginaire (1925).

Subjects: Dance.

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