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Adam Darius: Göteborg, Sweden, 1961.
Photo: Atelier Jonason
Adam Darius (born 10 May 1930) is an American dancer, mime artist, writer and choreographer. As a performer, he has appeared in over 80 countries across six continents. As a writer, he has published 13 books and written 21 plays.

In a program devoted to his career, the BBC World Service described him as "one of the most exceptional talents of the 20th century".

Adam Darius currently lives in Helsinki, Finland.


Adam Darius was born in Manhattan, New York City, into a family of Turkish and Russian ancestry.

Ballet career

Adam Darius: as Christ, with Kazimir Kolesnik, Cuba, 1984.
Photo: Prensa Latina
Adam Darius received his ballet and contemporary dance training from, among others, Anatole Oboukhov, George Goncharov, Olga Preobrajenska and José Limón. As an actor, Adam Darius studied with Raikin Ben-Ari of the Moscow Habimah Theatre, Academy Award winning actress Shelley Winters and Herbert Berghof.

He went on to dance in a dozen ballet companies including Britain's International Ballet, Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Brazil's Rio de Janeiro Ballet and Denmark's Scandinavian Ballet. He has also been choreographer of the Israel National Opera and then director of his own company, the Israeli Ballet. He choreographed ballets for American prima ballerinas Cynthia Gregory and Melissa Hayden, and for opera star Plácido Domingo, he choreographed four operas.

Adam Darius's panoramic gallery of tragic and comic roles has ranged from the vagabond in the Irish film Stigmata to that of Puck, which he acted in Shakespearean Swedish in the Scandinavian première of Benjamin Britten's opera, A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Adam Darius has also collaborated with Sweden's foremost film director Ingmar Bergman, France's greatest actor Jean-Louis Barrault and the Belgian singer and composer Jacques Brel.

Among Adam Darius' most memorable ballets was an evening-length work entitled Marilyn, based on the life of Marilyn Monroe, which was sponsored by the rock group Jethro Tull and ran for five weeks in London's West End where, not since Diaghilev's Sleeping Princess was seen in 1921, had a ballet played so extensively on a nightly basis. His most well-known creation, however, is The Anne Frank Ballet, later produced as a video, in which he danced the role of Anne Frank’s father, Otto Frank.

Expressive mime

Yukio Mishima, Portugal 2006: by Adam Darius and Kazimir Kolesnik.
Photo: Henrique Toscano
In time, Adam Darius began to evolve his own fusion of dance and mime into a new style, described as 'expressive mime'. In the unique solo performance that resulted, he appeared throughout the world, including such distant lands as Afghanistan, Taiwan, Indonesia, Swaziland, Papua New Guinea and Australia. His 1971 tour of the former Soviet Union, unparalleled by any solo American dance artist since Isadora Duncan, culminated in 27 curtain calls at the Leningrad Concert Hall.

As a believer in the power of art to bridge diverse cultures, he has performed repeatedly throughout the Arab world; in Damascus, Casablanca, Beirut, Cairo, Alexandria, Amman, Teheran, Isfahan, Shiraz, Istanbul and Tunis.

Mr. Darius' concept of physical theatre was also realized in the London productions of Tower of Babel and Rimbaud and Verlaine, in collaboration with Kazimir Kolesnik. Together, they went on to produce Yukio Mishima, which was first presented at the Holloway Prison for Women in London and later seen in Finland, Slovenia and Portugal. Among their further joint productions was A Snake in the Grass, presented in Amman, Jordan and acknowledged with the Noor Al Hussein Award.

Together with Kazimir Kolesnik, he annually directed the Shetland Islands Children's Theatre from 1989 to 1998. There, in Britain's northernmost venue, the Garrison Theatremarker, their productions included The Search for Shirley Temple, Santa Claus Goes to Las Vegas and King of Rock 'n' Roll.

Adam Darius continues to tour the world with Kazimir Kolesnik in their duo performance, Death of a Scarecrow.


Adam Darius has been teaching, in addition to performing, since the early years of his career.

In 1978, Adam Darius and Marita Crawley founded the Mime Centre in London, a place where students from around the world could study Adam Darius' system of 'expressive mime'. This course formed the basis of Mr Darius' acclaimed book The Adam Darius Method. In Britain he has taught, among others, mime artist, dancer and director, Kazimir Kolesnik, rock star Kate Bush, Hollywood film star Kate Beckinsale, West End principals Warren Mitchell and Clarke Peters, as well as Syria's foremost playwright, director and critic, Dr. Riad Ismat, now Ambassador to Pakistan. He also coached movie star Jennifer Beals, of Flashdance fame, for the film The Bride.

In 1994, the Mime Centre relocated to Helsinki, Finland. Recipients of Adam Darius' tutelage continue to include many prominent members of the dance world such as Frank Andersen, former director of the Royal Danish Ballet, Dinna Bjørn, former director of the Finnish National Ballet, Fernando Jhones of the National Ballet of Cuba, and Carolina Agüero and Dario Franconi of the Hamburg Ballet.

Adam Darius guest teaches whenever he is on tour. Drama companies throughout the African continent have benefited from his teaching, as have actors in Asia, from Malaysia to Japan. In North America, he has taught extensively in New York, Florida and California.

Books by Adam Darius

Author # Year Title Pages Publisher City ISBN Genre
Darius, Adam 1 1973 Dance Naked in the Sun 325 Latonia Publishers London ISBN 0950270709 Autobiography
Darius, Adam 2 1978 The Way to Timbuktu 276 Latonia Publishers London ISBN 0950270717 Autobiography
Darius, Adam 3 1984 The Adam Darius Method 270 Latonia Publishers London ISBN 0950270725 Teaching Books
Darius, Adam 4 1988 The Man Who Spat at Fate 251 Latonia Publishers London ISBN 0950270733 Novel
Darius, Adam 5 1991 The Guru 115 Latonia Publishers London ISBN 0950270741 Philosophy
Darius, Adam 6 1996 The Commedia Dell' Arte 97 Kolesnik Production OY Helsinki ISBN 9529071884 Teaching Books
Darius, Adam 7 1998 Acting - A Psychological and Technical Approach 208 Kolesnik Production OY Helsinki ISBN 952909146X Teaching Books
Darius, Adam 8 2000 Audition Monologues 128 Kolesnik Production OY Helsinki ISBN 9519823204 Teaching Books
Darius, Adam 9 2003 Double Existence 202 Kolesnik Production OY Helsinki ISBN 9519823212 Novel
Darius, Adam 10 2004 A Nomadic Life 250 Kolesnik Production OY Helsinki ISBN 9519823220 Autobiography
Darius, Adam 11 2005 When Your Dog Dies 63 Kolesnik Production OY Helsinki ISBN 9519823239 Animal Welfare
Darius, Adam 12 2007 Arabesques Through Time 407 Harlequinade Books Helsinki ISBN 9519823247 Autobiography
Darius, Adam 13 2009 Death in Damascus n/a e-book n/a ISBN 9789529254767 Novel

Honours and awards

  • 1976: Silver medallion of the Belgrade Monodrama Festival (Yugoslavia)
  • 1976: Honorary membership of the North Sumatran Community (Indonesia)
  • 1978: American Television Emmy (US)
  • 1984: Premio Positano Léonide Massine Per L'arte Della Danza (Italy)
  • 1987: Key to the City of Las Vegas (US)
  • 1998: Shetland Dance and Mime Award (UK)
  • 2001: Noor Al Hussein Foundation Award (Jordan)
  • 2002: Beirut Festival du Rire Trophy (Lebanon)
  • 2003: Noor Al Hussein Foundation Award (Jordan)
  • 2009: Order of Luis Manuel Gutiérrez (Venezuela)


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