Jean Börlin

Jean Börlin was a Swedish dancer and choreographer born in Härnösand on March 13, 1893 and died in New York on December 6, 1930. He worked with Michel Fokine who was his teacher in Stockholm.[1]


Jean Börlin was held in high esteem by Michel Fokine, who will later say of the Swedish dancer "He is the one who looks the most like me! A natural! An ecstasy! The fanatic sacrifice of a bruised body to give the maximum of choreographic expression". Trained at the Royal Swedish Ballet, he joined the troupe in 1905 and was named first dancer by Fokine in 1913. He joined his master in Copenhagen in 1918, then traveled to Europe and discovered modern dance.[2]

Recommended by Fokine, he was recruited for the newly formed Ballets suédois by Rolf de Maré. This marked his first steps as a choreographer; the vast majority of Ballets suédois choreographies bear his name. He danced for the company at a time when it was in constant competition with Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. From 1920, he became principal dancer, teacher, ballet master and choreographer. Hailed by the French critics, Börlin is considered the successor of Vaslav Nijinsky.[3]

Personal lifeEdit

Börlin and Rolf de Maré met through common friend Nils Dardel in 1918, and de Maré became lover and protector.[4]

Jean Börlin died of cancer in 1930 when he was only 37 years old. Even if he died in New York he asked to be buried back in Paris, at Père Lachaise Cemetery.[5]

Main choreographiesEdit



  1. ^ A Cultural History of the Avant-Garde in the Nordic Countries 1900-1925. Rodopi. 2012. p. 165. ISBN 9789401208918. Retrieved 4 December 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Garafola, Lynn (2005). Legacies of Twentieth-Century Dance. Wesleyan University Press. p. 123. Retrieved 4 December 2017. Jean Börlin Michel Fokine. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ De Groote, Pascale (2002). Ballets Suédois. Academia Press. ISBN 9789038204086. Retrieved 4 December 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Potvin, John (2015). Oriental Interiors: Design, Identity, Space. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 148. ISBN 9781472596628. Retrieved 4 December 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "Cimiteri di Parigi, grandi e piccoli". Retrieved 4 December 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)