Boris Volkoff: Dancer, teacher, choreographer




Mitchell, Lillian Leonora

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Alexander Gorsky and the experimental dance movement in Moscow during the 1920s were the principal formative influences on the dance career of Boris Volkoff. During his career in Canada Volkoff was also influenced by the social, economic, and political environment of Canada. His contributions to dance in Canada were numerous. He introduced many people to the art of dance and after gradually building an interested and appreciative audience, he initiated the formation of a professional dance company, the National Ballet of Canada. Volkoff was a dancer of the Bolshoi School who possessed an outstanding technique and an excellent expressive quality. As a teacher he drew out of his students their unique individual modes of expression and movement. Through his diverse repertoire which consisted of works in a variety of dance forms. Volkoff introduced many choreographic innovations to Canada and attempted to develop and evolve a Canadian style of expression. He revolutionized choreography for figure skating by creating unique ice ballets. Although the full potential of Boris Volkoff's extraordinary efforts was not fully appreciated during his lifetime, he merits recognition as the founding father of classical ballet in Canada.



Choreographers, Dance teachers, Social sciences