Although Adolph Bolm may not be known
to many people, he is a most famous man to all those interested
in the ballet. About a year ago I met Mr. Bolm, who is now
giving ballet lessons in Hollywood. He is perhaps the most
interesting and individual person I have met.
Born in St. Petersburg, Adolph Bolm entered the Imperial
Ballet School when he was only nine years of age. After studying
there for eight years, he joined the Imperial Ballet and soon
became the leading dancer and a great favorite.
In 1908 he was the artistic director of the tour of a company
headed by Anna Pavlova through Austria, Germany, and Sweden
that was the first appearance of the Imperial Ballet members
outside of Russia.
As a leading dancer in the Diaghilev Ballet Russe, Mr. Bolm
won world-wide attention. He left that company on its second
American tour in 1917 and became a Maitre de Ballet in the
Metropolitan Opera Company and its leading dancer for seven
seasons. With his own Ballet Intime he toured North and South
After leaving the Metropolitan, Mr. Bolm was Maitre de Ballet
of all the productions of Chicago Opera Company for six years.
While there, he established the first American Modern Ballet
called "The Chicago Allied Arts, Inc."
In 1930 Mr. Bolm came to Hollywood as a choreographer for
the movies. Four years later he joined the San Francisco Opera
Association. Mr. Bolm has produced ballets in the Hollywood
Bowl six times; one performed last summer was Stravinsky's
Last winter he went to New York, where he created a new ballet
which has proven very successful. Mr. Bolm no longer dances
himself; he is a great choreographer and ballet teacher.
Even though Mr. Bolm has been living in America for many
years, he still has some difficulty with our language. This
is partly because so many different languages other than English
are spoken at the artistic gatherings which he attends.
Last summer we gave the very interesting Bolm family - I
wish I had time to tell you about them all - one of our Persian
kittens, whom they have named Chita. Never have I seen a cat
more loved and talked about than Chita! She is adored by all
the Bolms and their friends, including Mr. Stravinsky, who
spends whole afternoons playing with the cat.
One day while we were talking, Mr. Bolm exclaimed, "Oh,
I must tell you how fantastic Chita was this morning! She
was playing with an alligator on the front porch. The alligator
opened his jaws wide and scared Chita so that she hunched
up her back and spit at him."
The Bolms have a very charming home in a quiet spot of the
Hollywood hills. Mr. Bolm is an affable man, short, with dark
skin, piercing eyes, and is much loved by all those who have
come in contact with him.
November 15, 1940