Anton Dolin Cuttings Books (2)

Scope and Content

This large group of cuttings books are a comprehensive record of the greater part of Anton Dolin's career from the 1920s until 1952 and were complied by Dolin's mother and himself. The material covers the birth of the first British ballet companies and the role played by Dolin and Markova in the spread of ballet to America. There is also considerable information about dance in revue and variety.

Administrative / Biographical History

Anton Dolin (born Sydney Francis Patrick Chippendall Healy-Kaye 1904 - 1983) was the first great British-born danseur of the 20th century. Having performed as a child actor he trained with Grace and Lily Cone in Brighton and from 1917 as a dancer with Serafina Astafieva. He gained recognition dancing with serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes in 1921 -1922; 1923 - 1925 and 1929.

Dolin was always concerned to take ballet to new audiences and consequently ready to dance in variety, revues, pantomime and on film with ballet companies. In the 1920s he established his own group working with Ninette de valois, Phyllis Bedells and Vera Nemchinova presenting ballets at the London Coliseum and subsequently played a significant role in the foundation of 20th century British ballet dancing with the Camargo Society (1930-1933) and the Vic-Wells Ballet where his partnership with Alicia Markova was consolidated. In 1935 the established the Markova-Dolin Ballet which toured extensively throughout Britain for two seasons (1935 - 1937). Dolin subsequently joined the de Basil Ballet Russe before working in the USA with the new Ballet Theatre (later American Ballet Theatre) and again running further Markova Dolin companies and concert groups.

In 1948 Markova and Dolin returned to Britain, initially to guest with Sadler's Wells Ballet at Covent Garden but also to present ballet in arenas and again tour in Britain. This led to the formation in 1950 of Festival Ballet later London's Festival Ballet, (now English National Ballet) where Dolin remained as Artistic Direcotr and premier danseur until 1961. He never stopped performing, taking on acting and mime roles. Dolin was a notable danseur noble, a popular partner who encouraged young ballerinas and formed notable stage partnerships with Markova, Nemchinova, and Irina Baronova. He encouraged boys to study ballet and produced important stagings of Giselle, as well as his own version of Pas de quatre and the companion showpiece for men Variations for Four. At the end of his life he received a knighthood for services to dance.


The cuttings books are arranged chronologically.

Access Information

This archive collection is available for consultation in the V&A Blythe House Archive and Library Study Room by appointment only. Full details of access arrangements may be found here:

Access to some of the material may be restricted. These are noted in the catalogue where relevant.

Acquisition Information

Acquired through auction at Sotheby's on 22 May 1997. Lot 375.

Conditions Governing Use

Information on copying and commercial reproduction may be found here:

Appraisal Information

This collection was appraised in line with the collection management policy.


No further accruals are expected.

Related Material

Anton Dolin biographical files, photographic files and files on the Markova-Dolin Ballet, the Ballet Russes, American Ballet Theatre and Festival Ballet are held in the Core Collection. The V&A Department of Theatre and Performance hold several costumes worn by Dolin. See also the London Archives of the Dance (THM/238) for a Dolin photo album; the Cyril W. Beaumont Collection (THM/239) for designs for the Markova-Dolin Ballet and the Rachel Cameron Collection (THM/414) for extensive holdings including a large photographic collection on Dolin which complements material in these cuttings books.

Also see THM/11 - Anton Dolin Scrapbooks (1) for material covering 1916-1944.