Adam Darius, American mime artist, dancer, choreographer and writer, died in Espoo, Finland, on December 3 at the age of 87.
Born in New York City in 1930, Darius began his dance training at 14, and studied ballet with many of the legendary Russian dancers of the era, including Anatole Oboukhov, George Goncharov and Olga Preobrajenska, as well contemporary dance with José Limón.
During the 1950s and 1960s, he danced and choreographed for numerous ballet and opera companies including Britain's International Ballet, Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Denmark's Scandinavian Ballet, the Israel National Opera and his own company the Israeli Ballet. Beginning in 1967, Darius moved away from ballet and focused on developing his own style of expressive dance and mime. In a performing career spanning seven decades, he went on to appear in over 88 countries across six continents. He also directed and/or choreographed dozens of dance and physical theatre productions across the world. His most famous ballet was The Anne Frank Ballet. He was the only choreographer ever to be given permission by Otto Frank, Anne Frank's father, to stage a ballet based on his daughter's life, during his lifetime.
Darius was known as an inspiring teacher who impacted generations of dancers and other performing artists across the world. Since 1978, he co-founded and taught at the MimeCentre, continuing to teach and coach subsequently in Finland as well as at master classes across the world. In Britain, he taught, among others, mime artist, dancer and director Kazimir Kolesnik, rock star Kate Bush, Hollywood film star Kate Beckinsale and West End principal Warren Mitchell.
Darius was also a prolific writer, whose work included 19 published books ranging from theater textbooks and autobiography to novels and poetry. Since 1994, he lived in Finland, continuing to appear across the world with Kazimir Kolesnik, his longtime performing partner. Their final appearance was in Kosovo in October 2016, after which he retired from the stage.