Isabelle Fokine

Born in Paris in 1958, Isabelle Fokine is the daughter of Ballet Master and Author Vitale Fokine and granddaughter of revolutionary choreographer Mikhail Fokine. As heir to the Fokine repertoire, she is the Artistic Director of the Fokine Estate Archive, which holds the world-wide copyright to his work, and custodian of the Michel Fokine Archive Collection. 

She began her ballet training with her father and coach, and went on to the Ballet Theatre School in New York. She performed with the Bolshoi Ballet and the American Ballet Theatre company until reoccurring injuries, prematurely put an end to her dance career. Over the course of guest appearances, she performed under the direction of Leonid Massine, in several productions. Her most notable roles included: The Dying Swan, the Prelude in Les Sylphides, and the Chosen Sacrifice in Le Sacre du Printemps. 

In the latter years of his life, Isabelle assisted her father, as he recreated the Fokine repertoire for companies around the world. In 1992 she took over the running of her grandfather’s Estate. She has staged and overseen hundreds of Fokine productions. Her revivals have been seen in every major Opera House in Europe, America, China and Japan. 

In 1994 she began a long-term association with the Kirov Ballet in an effort to restore the ballets of her grandfather to his homeland. At the time the company had 1 of his 80 ballets in their repertoire. Most had never even been seen in Russia. In 1997 she was voted one of the “10 most important people in the arts” that year by London Television. As a result she was the profiled subject of the South Bank Show, England’s premiere Arts and Entertainment programme, which focused on her fight for authenticity in the ballets of her grandfather. 

She has taught, lectured and been a presenter on a number of projects relating to Fokine, and will soon author an upcoming publication “Against the Tide, Revisited” on Fokine ballets as seen in the 21 Century. 

Next year she will present over 25 Fokine ballets around the world as part of the celebration honouring the 100th Anniversary of the Ballet Russes.