Feliks Malinowski, our 1960s danseur noble, died on 30 August 2018 in Paris at the age of 82. He debuted on the Warsaw stage in 1959 and was Teatr Wielki’s first soloist from 1966 to 1970.

Archive photograph of a pair of dancers on stage

Born on 30 June 1936, he studied dance at the Warsaw ballet school, in 1955 becoming a soloist with Polski Zespół Tańca (Polish Dance Ensemble), then transferring to the Łódź Opera. In 1959 he joined the ballet company of the Warsaw Opera, where he was promoted to soloist in 1960. In 1966 he became Teatr Wielki’s first soloist. In the 1960/61 season, together with the company’s young star Olga Sawicka, he completed a ballet traineeship at Moscow’s Bolshoi, where they had the honour to guest star in Giselle, a privilege that no Polish soloist has been granted ever since. The pair then reprised the roles with the ballet companies of Tbilisi, Yerevan, and Vilnius.

His dance technique, partnering skills, and physique made him the perfect fit for leading roles across our theatre’s ballet repertoire. He dazzled as Albert, Siegfried, Basilio, Romeo, Mr Twardowski, Harnaś, Orpheus, and Spartacus, among others. Apart from the amazing Olga Sawicka, he also partnered Maria Krzyszkowska, Elżbieta Jaroń, and Bożena Kociołkowska.

Having left Poland, he danced at the revue theatres of Beirut and Paris, where in 1974 he also started teaching. In 1981 he retired from the stage and focused entirely on teaching classical dance. For many subsequent years he worked with students and dancers in Paris, elsewhere in France, and beyond. (pch)

Pictured: Feliks Malinowski and Olga Sawicka during the curtain call after their high-profile performance of Giselle at the Bolshoi, 6 March 1961. Photo: Archives of Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera.