Alexis Rassine


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(orig. Rays; b Kaunas, 26 Jul. 1919; d Crawley, 25 Jul. 1992)

Lithuanian-British dancer. He moved to Cape Town aged 10 and studied there with Helen Webb, moving to Paris aged 17 to study with Preobrajenska and others. He made his debut in the revue Bal Tabarin. In 1939 he moved to London where he danced with various companies including the Anglo-Polish Ballet (1940) and Sadler's Wells Ballet (1942–55). Performing as a danseur noble when most British male dancers were on war service he created roles in several works including Helpmann's Hamlet (1942) and Miracle in the Gorbals (1944), Ashton's The Quest (1943) and Homage to the Queen (1953), and de Valois's Don Quixote (1950). He was a frequent partner of Nerina and toured S. Africa with her in 1952 and 1955. He also danced briefly for Gore's London Ballet. In 1976 he opened his own school.

Subjects: Dance.

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