Frank Augustyn

  Frank Augustyn, ballet dancer, artistic director (born at Hamilton, Ont 27 Jan 1953). Widely praised as a classical dancer and greatly admired for his elegant bearing, Frank Augustyn trained at the NATIONAL BALLET SCHOOL, joined the NATIONAL BALLET OF CANADA in 1970, and swiftly became a soloist in 1971 and principal dancer in 1972. He and frequent partner Karen KAIN won the award for best pas de deux at the 1973 Moscow International Ballet Competition. Their performances in ballets such as Giselle, La Fille mal gardée, and in the Bluebird pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty are preserved in films by Norman CAMPBELL. During their partnership they performed Giselle at Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre and toured widely.

In 1980 Augustyn joined the Berlin Opera Ballet, returning to the National Ballet in 1981, when he also became permanent guest artist with the Boston Ballet. In 1989 he resigned from the National Ballet to assume the artistic directorship of THEATRE BALLET OF CANADA, later to be renamed the OTTAWA BALLET. In that position, he enlarged the repertoire with works by José Limón and Flemming Flindt and with commissioned ballets by Edward Hillyer, Serge BENNATHAN, Michael Downing and others. He produced and performed in The Tin Soldier for stage and the CBC. In 1994 he resigned as artistic director of the Ottawa Ballet but continued to perform as guest artist and to teach, coach and consult at a variety of schools and companies, including the National Ballet School, Boston School of Ballet and ALBERTA BALLET.

Frank Augustyn founded Montréal's annual Gala des Étoiles in 1986, which presents international dance stars in performances to raise money for Montréal's children's hospitals. As artistic director, Augustyn has toured the performance nationally since 1989 and internationally since 1996.

In the late 1990s Augustyn produced the television series Footnotes: The Classics of Ballet. From 1995 to 1997 he produced and hosted 20 half-hour documentaries covering topics such as the Ballets Russes, the National Ballet of Canada, the Paris Opera Ballet, ballet in Asia and Russia, the ballerina, the male dancer, and classic works including Giselle, Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty.

In 1979 Frank Augustyn was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada. He became Director of the Dance Department at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York in the fall of 2000.