Anna Pavlova

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Anna Pavlova
Anna pavlova -c. 1905.jpg
Anna Pavlova, c. 1905.
Анна Павловна (Матвеевна) Павлова
Anna Pavlovna (Matveyevna) Pavlova

(1881-02-12)February 12, 1881
DiedJanuary 23, 1931(1931-01-23) (aged 49)
Nationality Russian
Occupation Ballerina
Years active1899–1931
Parent(s)Lyubov Feodorovna Pavlova
Lazar Polyakov
or Matvey Pavlov

Anna Pavlovna (Matveyevna) Pavlova (Russian : Анна Павловна (Матвеевна) Павлова; February 12 [ O.S. January 31] 1881 January 23, 1931) was a Russian prima ballerina of the late 19th and the early 20th centuries. She was a principal artist of the Imperial Russian Ballet and the Ballets Russes of Sergei Diaghilev. Pavlova is most recognized for the creation of the role The Dying Swan and, with her own company, became the first ballerina to tour ballet around the world. She toured South America, India and Australia. [1]

Russian language East Slavic language

Russian is an East Slavic language, which is official in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as being widely used throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It was the de facto language of the Soviet Union until its dissolution on 25 December 1991. Although, nowadays, over two decades after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian is used in official capacity or in public life in all the post-Soviet nation-states, as well as in Israel and Mongolia, the rise of state-specific varieties of this language tends to be strongly denied in Russia, in line with the Russian World ideology.

Old Style and New Style dates 16th-century changes in calendar conventions

Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are terms sometimes used with dates to indicate that the calendar convention used at the time described is different from that in use at the time the document was being written. There were two calendar changes in Great Britain and its colonies, which may sometimes complicate matters: the first was to change the start of the year from Lady Day to 1 January; the second was to discard the Julian calendar in favour of the Gregorian calendar. Closely related is the custom of dual dating, where writers gave two consecutive years to reflect differences in the starting date of the year, or to include both the Julian and Gregorian dates.

Ballets Russes

The Ballets Russes was an itinerant ballet company based in Paris that performed between 1909 and 1929 throughout Europe and on tours to North and South America. The company never performed in Russia, where the Revolution disrupted society. After its initial Paris season, the company had no formal ties there.


Early life

Anna Pavlovna (Matveyevna) Pavlova was born on February 12, 1881 in Ligovo, Saint Petersburg, Russia to unwed parents. Her mother, Lyubov Feodorovna was a laundress. Her father was banker Lazar Polyakov). [2] Her mother's second husband, Matvey Pavlov, is believed to have adopted her at the age of three, by which she acquired his last name.

Ligovo is a historical area of the federal city of Saint Petersburg (Russia). It is located in the southern part of the city on the road leading to Petergof.

Saint Petersburg Federal city in Northwestern, Russia

Saint Petersburg is Russia's second-largest city after Moscow, with 5 million inhabitants in 2012, part of the Saint Petersburg agglomeration with a population of 6.2 million (2015). An important Russian port on the Baltic Sea, it has a status of a federal subject.

Lazar Solomonovich Polyakov was a Russian-Jewish entrepreneur. Polyakov founded his first bank in 1872 and by the 1890s owned an influential financial group; he was informally named "Rothschild of Moscow". His business collapsed in the early 1900s and was completely disbanded by 1909.

Students of the Imperial Ballet School in Marius Petipa's Un conte de fées. A ten-year-old Anna Pavlova participated in this work in her first ever ballet performance. She is photographed here on the left holding the birdcage. St. Petersburg, 1891. Fairy Tale - Students of the Imperial Ballet School. 1891.JPG
Students of the Imperial Ballet School in Marius Petipa's Un conte de fées . A ten-year-old Anna Pavlova participated in this work in her first ever ballet performance. She is photographed here on the left holding the birdcage. St. Petersburg, 1891.

Pavlova's passion for the art of ballet was ignited when her mother took her to a performance of Marius Petipa's original production of The Sleeping Beauty at the Imperial Maryinsky Theater. The lavish spectacle made an impression on Pavlova. When she was nine, her mother took her to audition for the renowned Imperial Ballet School. Because of her youth, and what was considered her "sickly" appearance, she was rejected, but at age 10 in 1891 she was accepted. She appeared for the first time on stage in Marius Petipa's Un conte de fées (A Fairy Tale), which the ballet master staged for the students of the school.

Marius Petipa French-Russian ballet dancer and choreographer

Marius Ivanovich Petipa, born Victor Marius Alphonse Petipa, was a French ballet dancer, pedagogue and choreographer. Petipa is considered to be one of the most influential ballet masters and choreographers in ballet history.

<i>The Sleeping Beauty</i> (ballet) ballet composed by Tchaikovsky

The Sleeping Beauty is a ballet in a prologue and three acts, first performed in 1890. The music was composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The score was completed in 1889, and is the second of his three ballets. The original scenario was conceived by Ivan Vsevolozhsky, and is based on Charles Perrault's La Belle au bois dormant. The choreographer of the original production was Marius Petipa.

Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet school of classical ballet in Saint Petersburg, Russia

The Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet is a school of classical ballet in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Established in 1738 during the reign of Empress Anna, the academy was known as the Imperial Ballet School up until Soviet times, when, after a brief hiatus, the school was re-established as the Leningrad State Choreographic Institute. In 1957, the school was renamed in honor of the renowned pedagogue Agrippina Vaganova, who cultivated the method of classical ballet training that has been taught there since the late 1920s. Graduates of the school include some of the most famous ballet dancers, choreographers and teachers in history and many of the world's leading ballet schools have adopted elements of the Vaganova method into their own training.

Imperial Ballet School

Young Pavlova's years of training were difficult. Classical ballet did not come easily to her. Her severely arched feet, thin ankles, and long limbs clashed with the small, compact body favoured for the ballerina of the time. Her fellow students taunted her with such nicknames as The broom and La petite sauvage. Undeterred, Pavlova trained to improve her technique. She would practice and practice after learning a step. She said, "No one can arrive from being talented alone. God gives talent, work transforms talent into genius." [3] She took extra lessons from the noted teachers of the day—Christian Johansson, Pavel Gerdt, Nikolai Legat—and from Enrico Cecchetti, considered the greatest ballet virtuoso of the time and founder of the Cecchetti method, a very influential ballet technique used to this day. In 1898, she entered the classe de perfection of Ekaterina Vazem, former Prima ballerina of the Saint Petersburg Imperial Theatres.

Classical ballet traditional, formal style of ballet

Classical ballet is any of the traditional, formal styles of ballet that exclusively employ classical ballet technique. It is known for its aesthetics and rigorous technique, its flowing, precise movements, and its ethereal qualities.

Pehr Christian Johansson was a teacher, choreographer and balletmaster for the Russian Imperial Ballet. He was engaged at the Royal Swedish Ballet in 1829-41, and at the Imperial Russian Ballet in 1841-66.

Pavel Gerdt Russian ballet dancer

Pavel Andreyevich Gerdt, also known as Paul Gerdt, was the Premier Danseur Noble of the Imperial Ballet, the Bolshoi Kamenny Theatre, and the Mariinsky Theatre for 56 years, making his debut in 1860, and retiring in 1916. His daughter Elisaveta Gerdt was also a prominent ballerina and teacher.

During her final year at the Imperial Ballet School, she performed many roles with the principal company. She graduated in 1899 at age 18, chosen to enter the Imperial Ballet a rank ahead of corps de ballet as a coryphée. She made her official début at the Mariinsky Theatre in Pavel Gerdt's Les Dryades prétendues (The False Dryads). Her performance drew praise from the critics, particularly the great critic and historian Nikolai Bezobrazov.


St. Petersburg

Marius Petipa

At the height of Petipa's strict academicism, the public was taken aback by Pavlova's style, a combination of a gift that paid little heed to academic rules: she frequently performed with bent knees, bad turnout, misplaced port de bras and incorrectly placed tours. Such a style in many ways harked back to the time of the romantic ballet and the great ballerinas of old.

Romantic ballet

The Romantic ballet is defined primarily by an era in ballet in which the ideas of Romanticism in art and literature influenced the creation of ballets. The era occurred during the early to mid 19th century primarily at the Théâtre de l'Académie Royale de Musique of the Paris Opera Ballet and Her Majesty's Theatre in London. It is typically considered to have begun with the 1827 début in Paris of the ballerina Marie Taglioni in the ballet La Sylphide, and to have reached its zenith with the premiere of the divertissement Pas de Quatre staged by the Ballet Master Jules Perrot in London in 1845. The Romantic ballet had no immediate end, but rather a slow decline. Arthur Saint-Léon's 1870 ballet Coppélia is considered to be the last work of the Romantic Ballet.

Pavlova performed in various classical variations, pas de deux and pas de trois in such ballets as La Camargo , Le Roi Candaule , Marcobomba and The Sleeping Beauty . Her enthusiasm often led her astray: once during a performance as the River Thames in Petipa's The Pharaoh's Daughter her energetic double pique turns led her to lose her balance, and she ended up falling into the prompter's box. Her weak ankles led to difficulty while performing as the fairy Candide in Petipa's The Sleeping Beauty, leading the ballerina to revise the fairy's jumps en pointe, much to the surprise of the Ballet Master. She tried desperately to imitate the renowned Pierina Legnani, Prima ballerina assoluta of the Imperial Theaters. Once during class she attempted Legnani's famous fouettés, causing her teacher Pavel Gerdt to fly into a rage. He told her,

Variation (ballet) ballet dance

In ballet, a variation is a solo dance. In a classical grand pas de deux, the ballerina and danseur each perform a variation.

Pas de deux ballet term

In ballet, a pas de deux[pɑ d(ə) dø] is a dance duet in which two dancers, typically a male and a female, perform ballet steps together. The pas de deux is characteristic of classical ballet and can be found in many well-known ballets, including Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and Giselle. It is most often performed by a male and a female though there are exceptions, such as in the film White Nights, in which a pas de deux is performed by Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gregory Hines.

Pas de trois

Pas de trois[pɑ də tʁwɑ] is a French term usually referring to a dance in ballet between three people. Typically, a pas de trois in ballet consists of five parts:

  1. Entrée
  2. Variation for the 1st dancer
  3. Variation for the 2nd dancer
  4. Variation for the 3rd dancer
  5. Coda

... leave acrobatics to others. It is positively more than I can bear to see the pressure such steps put on your delicate muscles and the severe arch of your foot. I beg you to never again try to imitate those who are physically stronger than you. You must realize that your daintiness and fragility are your greatest assets. You should always do the kind of dancing which brings out your own rare qualities instead of trying to win praise by mere acrobatic tricks.

Pavlova rose through the ranks quickly, becoming a favorite of the old maestro Petipa. It was from Petipa himself that Pavlova learned the title role in Paquita , Princess Aspicia in The Pharaoh's Daughter, Queen Nisia in Le Roi Candaule, and Giselle. She was named danseuse in 1902, première danseuse in 1905, and finally prima ballerina in 1906 after a resounding performance in Giselle . Petipa revised many grand pas for her, as well as many supplemental variations. She was much celebrated by the fanatical balletomanes of Tsarist Saint Petersburg, her legions of fans calling themselves the Pavlovatzi.

When the ballerina Mathilde Kschessinska was pregnant in 1901, she coached Pavlova in the role of Nikya in La Bayadère . Kschessinska, not wanting to be upstaged, was certain Pavlova would fail in the role, as she was considered technically inferior because of her small ankles and lithe legs. Instead audiences became enchanted with Pavlova and her frail, ethereal look, which fitted the role perfectly, particularly in the scene The Kingdom of the Shades.

Michel Fokine

Anna Pavlova in the Fokine/Saint-Saëns The Dying Swan, Saint Petersburg, 1905 Anna Pavlova as the Dying Swan.jpg
Anna Pavlova in the Fokine/Saint-Saëns The Dying Swan , Saint Petersburg, 1905

Pavlova is perhaps most renowned for creating the role of The Dying Swan , a solo choreographed for her by Michel Fokine. The ballet, created in 1905, is danced to Le cygne from The Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns. Pavlova also choreographed several solos herself, one of which is The Dragonfly, a short ballet set to music by Fritz Kreisler. While performing the role, Pavlova wore a gossamer gown with large dragonfly wings fixed to the back.

Pavlova had a rivalry with Tamara Karsavina. According to the film A Portrait of Giselle , Karsavina recalls a wardrobe malfunction. During one performance her shoulder straps fell and she accidentally exposed herself, and Pavlova reduced an embarrassed Karsavina to tears.

Ballets Russes

In the first years of the Ballets Russes, Pavlova worked briefly for Sergei Diaghilev. Originally she was to dance the lead in Mikhail Fokine's The Firebird , but refused the part, as she could not come to terms with Igor Stravinsky's avant-garde score, and the role was given to Tamara Karsavina. All her life Pavlova preferred the melodious "musique dansante" of the old maestros such as Cesare Pugni and Ludwig Minkus, and cared little for anything else which strayed from the salon-style ballet music of the 19th century.

Photographic postcard of Anna Pavlova as the Princess Aspicia in Alexander Gorsky's version of the Petipa/Pugni The Pharaoh's Daughter for the Bolshoi Theatre. Moscow, 1908 Pharoah's Daughter -Anna Pavlova -1910.jpg
Photographic postcard of Anna Pavlova as the Princess Aspicia in Alexander Gorsky's version of the Petipa/Pugni The Pharaoh's Daughter for the Bolshoi Theatre. Moscow, 1908

Pavlova's ballet company

Touring the world

After the first Paris season of Ballets Russes, Pavlova left it to form her own company. It performed throughout the world, with a repertory consisting primarily of abridgements of Petipa's works, and specially choreographed pieces for herself. Going independent was

"a very enterprising and daring act. She toured on her own... for twenty years until her death. She traveled everywhere in the world that travel was possible, and introduced the ballet to millions who had never seen any form of Western dancing." [4]

Pavlova also performed many ‘ethnic’ dances, some of which she learned from local teachers during her travels. In addition to the dances of her native Russia, she performed Mexican, Japanese, and East Indian dances. Supported by her interest, Uday Shankar, her partner in Krishna Radha (1923), went on to revive the long-neglected art of the dance in his native India. [5] She also toured China.

In 1916 she produced a 50-minute adaptation of The Sleeping Beauty in New York City. [5] Members of her company were largely English girls with Russianized names. [5] One of her dancers, Kathleen Crofton, was reviewed by the ballet writer Cyril Johnson, he said that "her bourrées were like a string of pearls". From 1918-1919 her company toured throughout South America, during which time Pavlova exerted an influence on the young American ballerina Ruth Page. [6] [7] [8]

In 1915, she appeared in the film The Dumb Girl of Portici, in which she played a mute girl betrayed by an aristocrat. [5]


After leaving Russia, Pavlova moved to London, England, settling, in 1912, at the Ivy House on North End Road, Golders Green, north of Hampstead Heath, where she lived for the rest of her life. The house had an ornamental lake where she fed her pet swans, and where now stands a statue of her by the Scots sculptor George Henry Paulin. The house was featured in the film Anna Pavlova . It is now the London Jewish Cultural Centre, but a blue plaque marks it as a site of significant historical interest being Pavlova's home. [9] [10] While in London, Pavlova was influential in the development of British ballet, most notably inspiring the career of Alicia Markova. The Gate pub, located on the border of Arkley and Totteridge (London Borough of Barnet), has a story, framed on its walls, describing a visit by Pavlova and her dance company.

There are at least five memorials to Pavlova in London, England: a contemporary sculpture by Tom Merrifield of Pavlova as the Dragonfly in the grounds of Ivy House, a sculpture by Scot George Henry Paulin in the middle of the Ivy House pond, a blue plaque on the front of Ivy House, a statuette sitting with the urn that holds her ashes in Golders Green Crematorium, and the gilded statue atop the Victoria Palace Theatre. [11] [12]

When the Victoria Palace Theatre in London, England, opened in 1911, a gilded statue of Pavlova had been installed above the cupola of the theatre. This was taken down for its safety during World War II and was lost. In 2006, a replica of the original statue was restored in its place. [13]

During the last five years of her life, one of her soloists, Cleo Nordi, another St Petersburg ballerina, became her dedicated assistant, having left the Paris Opera Ballet in 1926 to join her company and accompanied her on her second Australian tour to Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney in 1929. [14] On the way back on board ship, Nordi married Pavlova's British musical director, Walford Hyden. [15] Nordi kept Pavlova's flame burning in London, well into the 1970s, where she tutored hundreds of pupils including many ballet stars.

Arnold Genthe, Anna Pavlova, 1915, Library of Congress Anna Pavlova, 1915.jpg
Arnold Genthe, Anna Pavlova, 1915, Library of Congress

The United States

Between 1912 and 1926, Pavlova made almost annual tours of America, traveling from coast to coast.

"A generation of dancers turned to the art because of her. She roused America as no one had done since Elssler. ... America became Pavlova-conscious and therefore ballet-conscious. Dance and passion, dance and drama were fused." [16]


Pavlova was introduced to audiences in the United States by Max Rabinoff during his time as managing director of the Boston Grand Opera Company from 1914 to 1917 and was featured there with her Russian Ballet Company during that period. [17]

St. Louis

In 1914 Pavlova performed in St. Louis Missouri, after being engaged last minute by Hattie B. Gooding, responsible for a series of worthy musical attractions presented to the St. Louis public during the season of 1913-14. Gooding went to New York to arrange with the musical managers for the attractions offered. Out of a long list she selected those who represent the highest in their own special field, and which she felt sure St. Louisans would enjoy. The list began with Madame Louise Homer prima donna contralto of the Metropolitan Grand Opera Co., followed by Josef Hoffman, pianist, and Anna Pavlova and the Russian ballet. For the last the expenses were $5,500.00 ($139,426 in 2018 dollars) for two nights, and the receipts $7,500.00 ($190,126 in 2018 dollars), netting a clear gain of $2,000.00 ($50,700 in 2018 dollars); her other evenings were proportionately successful financially. The advance sales were greater than any other city in the United States. At the Pavlowa concert, when Gooding engaged, at the last hour, the Russian dancer for two nights, the New York managers became dubious and anxiously rushed four special advance agents to assist her. On seeing the bookings for both nights they quietly slipped back to New York fully convinced of her ability to attract audiences in St. Louis, which had always, heretofore, been called "the worst show town" in the country. [18]

Personal life

Victor Dandré, her manager and companion, asserted he was her husband in his biography of the dancer in 1932: Anna Pavlova: In Art & Life( Dandre 1932 , author's foreword). On death (5 February 1944) he was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium and his ashes placed below those of Anna.

Victor Dandré wrote of Pavlova's many charity dance performances and charitable efforts to support Russian orphans in post-World War I Paris

...who were in danger of finding themselves literally in the street. They were already suffering terrible privations and it seemed as though there would soon be no means whatever to carry on their education. [19]

Fifteen girls were adopted into a home Pavlova purchased near Paris at Saint-Cloud, overseen by the Comtesse de Guerne and supported by her performances and funds solicited by Pavlova, including many small donations from members of the Camp Fire Girls of America who made her an honorary member. [20]

During her life she had many pets including a Siamese cat, various dogs and many kinds of birds, including swans. [21] Dandré indicated she was a lifelong lover of animals and this is evidenced by photographic portraits she sat for which often included an animal she loved. A formal studio portrait was made of her with Jack, her favorite swan. [21]


Anna Pavlova arriving in The Hague in 1927
The ashes of Anna Pavlova, above those of Victor Dandré, Golders Green Crematorium The ashes of Anna Pavlova, above those of Victor Dandre, Golders Green Crematorium.jpg
The ashes of Anna Pavlova, above those of Victor Dandré, Golders Green Crematorium

While touring in The Hague, Pavlova was told that she had pneumonia and required an operation. She was also told that she would never be able to dance again if she went ahead with it. She refused to have the surgery, saying "If I can't dance then I'd rather be dead." She died of pleurisy, in the bedroom next to the Japanese Salon of the Hotel Des Indes in The Hague, three weeks short of her 50th birthday.

Victor Dandré wrote that Anna Pavlova died a half hour past midnight on Friday, January 23, 1931, with her maid Marguerite Létienne, Dr. Zalevsky and himself at her bedside. Her last words were, "Get my 'Swan' costume ready." [22]

In accordance with old ballet tradition, on the day she was to have next performed, the show went on as scheduled, with a single spotlight circling an empty stage where she would have been. Memorial services were held in the Russian Orthodox Church in London. Anna Pavlova was cremated, and her ashes placed in a columbarium at Golders Green Crematorium, where her urn was adorned with her ballet shoes (which have since been stolen).

Pavlova's ashes have been a source of much controversy, following attempts by Valentina Zhilenkova and Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov to have them flown to Moscow for interment in the Novodevichy Cemetery. These attempts were based on claims that it was Pavlova's dying wish that her ashes be returned to Russia following the fall of the Soviet Union. These claims were later found to be false, as there is no evidence to suggest that this was her wish at all. The only documentary evidence that suggests that such a move would be possible is in the will of Pavlova's husband, who stipulated that if Russian authorities agreed to such a move and treated her remains with proper reverence, then the crematorium caretakers should agree to it. Despite this clause, the will does not contain a formal request or plans for a posthumous journey to Russia.

The most recent attempt to move Pavlova's remains to Russia came in 2001. Golders Green Crematorium had made arrangements for them to be flown to Russia for interment on 14 March 2001, in a ceremony to be attended by various Russian dignitaries. This plan was later abandoned after Russian authorities withdrew permission for the move. It was later revealed that neither Pavlova's family nor the Russian Government had sanctioned the move and that they had agreed the remains should stay in London. [23] [24]


Commemorative coin, Central Bank of Russia 5111-0010-reverse.png
Commemorative coin, Central Bank of Russia

Pavlova inspired the choreographer Frederick Ashton when as a boy of 13 he saw her dance in the Municipal Theater in Lima, Peru.

The Pavlova dessert is believed to have been created in honour of the dancer in Wellington during her tour of New Zealand and Australia in the 1920s. The nationality of its creator has been a source of argument between the two nations for many years.

The Jarabe Tapatío, known in English as the 'Mexican Hat Dance', gained popularity outside of Mexico when Pavlova created a staged version in pointe shoes, for which she was showered with hats by her adoring Mexican audiences. Afterward, in 1924, the Jarabe Tapatío was proclaimed Mexico's national dance.

In 1980, Igor Carl Faberge licensed a collection of 8-inch Full Lead Crystal Wine Glasses to commemorate the centenary of Anna's birth. The glasses were crafted in Japan under the supervision of The Franklin Mint. A frosted image of Anna Pavlova appears in the stem of each glass. Originally each set contained 12 glasses.

Pavlova's life was depicted in the 1983 film Anna Pavlova .

Pavlova's dances inspired many artworks of the Irish painter John Lavery. The critic of The Observer wrote on 16 April 1911: 'Mr. Lavery's portrait of the Russian dancer Anna Pavlova, caught in a moment of graceful, weightless movement … Her miraculous, feather-like flight, which seems to defy the law of gravitation'. [25] [26]

A McDonnell Douglas MD-11 of the Dutch airline KLM, with the registration PH-KCH carried her name. It was delivered on August 31, 1995.

Anna Pavlova appears as a character in Rosario Ferre's novel Flight of the Swan.

Anna Pavlova appears as a character in the fourth episode of the British series Mr Selfridge , played by real-life ballerina Natalia Kremen.

Pointe shoes

Her feet were extremely rigid, so she strengthened her pointe shoe by adding a piece of hard wood on the soles for support and curving the box of the shoe. At the time, many considered this "cheating", for a ballerina of the era was taught that she, not her shoes, must hold her weight en pointe. In Pavlova's case this was extremely difficult, as the shape of her feet required her to balance her weight on her little toes. Her solution became, over time, the precursor of the modern pointe shoe, as pointe work became less painful and easier for curved feet. According to Margot Fonteyn's biography, Pavlova did not like the way her invention looked in photographs, so she would remove it or have the photographs altered so that it appeared she was using a normal pointe shoe. She on the other hand, did not wear Grishko's, she wore Russian Pointe. [27]

Choreographic notation

At the turn-of-the-Twentieth century, the Imperial Ballet began a project that notated much of its repertory in the Stepanov method of choreographic notation. Most of the notated choreographies were recorded while dancers were being taken through rehearsals. After the revolution of 1917, this collection of notation was taken out of Russia by the Imperial Ballet's former régisseur Nicholas Sergeyev, who utilized these documents to stage such works as The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake, as well as Marius Petipa's definitive versions of Giselle and of Coppélia for the Paris Opéra Ballet and the Vic-Wells Ballet of London (precursor of the Royal Ballet). The productions of these works formed the foundation from which all subsequent versions would be based to one extent or another. Eventually these notations were acquired by Harvard University, and are now part of the cache of materials relating to the Imperial Ballet known as the Sergeyev Collection that includes not only the notated ballets but rehearsal scores as used by the company at the turn-of-the-twentieth century.

The notations of Giselle and the full-length Paquita were recorded circa 1901-1902 while Marius Petipa himself took Anna Pavlova through rehearsals. Pavlova is also included in some of the other notated choreographies when she participated in performances as a soloist. Several of the violin or piano reductions used as rehearsal scores reflect the variations that Pavlova chose to dance in a particular performance, since at that time classical variations were often performed ad libitum, i.e. at the dancer's choice. One variation in particular was performed by Pavlova in several ballets, being composed by Riccardo Drigo for Pavlova's performance in Petipa's ballet Le Roi candaule that features a solo harp. This variation is still performed in modern times in the Mariinsky Ballet's staging of the Paquita grand pas classique.

See also


  1. Anna Pavlova's tours of Australia 1926 and 1929
  2. Олег Керенский приводит утверждение Владимира Полякова — сына Лазаря Полякова о том, что Анна была побочной дочерью его отца (См.: Oleg Kerensky. Anna Pavlova. N-Y., Dutton Publ., 1973. ISBN   0-525-17658-6)
  3. McDonough, Yona Zeldis (November 3, 2016). "Yes, These Famous Ballerinas Are Jewish". Lilith.
  4. Agnes de Mille, The Book of the Dance (1963), p.149 {quote).
  5. 1 2 3 4 Au, Susan (2012). Ballet and Modern Dance. London, England: Thames & Hudson world of art. p. 116. ISBN   978-0-500-20411-5.
  6. Ruth Page - Early Architect of the American Ballet a biographical essay by Joellen A. Meglin on
  7. Ruth Page's Obituary in The New York Times 9 April 1991 on
  8. New York Public Library Archives - Ruth Page Collection 1918-70 at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts - Jerome Robbins Dance Division, New York City, USA on
  9. Blue plaque, Hendon Corporation.
  10. "London Jewish Cultural Centre – Now Booking". London Jewish Cultural Centre. Archived from the original on 6 December 2000. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  11. "Ballerinas & Meringues: Pavlova 2012 @ Ivy House",, accessed January 14, 2013.
  12. "Ten Dancer Statues Of London",, accessed January 14, 2013.
  13. Archived August 13, 2011, at the Wayback Machine accessed March 27, 2011
  14. Pavlova and her retinue emerging from Brisbane station, in Early Ballet in Queensland, John Oxley Library retrieved 02.02.2019
  15. Cleo Nordi recollects Anna Pavlova in Katharine Kanter: Pavlova Recollections by her Associates in Dansomanie Retrieved 30-01-2019
  16. de Mille, The Book of the Dance (1963), p.151 (quote).
  17. "Max Rabinoff Papers". Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  18. Johnson, Anne (1914). Notable women of St. Louis, 1914. St. Louis, Woodward. p. 82. Retrieved 17 August 2017.PD-icon.svgThis article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  19. Dandre 1932, p. 248.
  20. Dandre 1932, pp. 251—259.
  21. 1 2 Dandre 1932, pp. 329—349.
  22. Dandre 1932, p. 360.
  23. "BBC News, Pavlova's ashes stay in London". BBC News. 2001-03-08. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  24. Amelia Gentleman in Moscow (2001-03-07). "Anger as Pavlova's ashes leave London for Moscow". The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  25. National Gallery of Australia, referring to: Lavery, John, Anna Pavlova 1911, Painting oil on canvas, Glasgow Museums: Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, presented by Nicol P. Brown in 1924
  26. All Russia, (article translated from Russian), "Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova"
  27. Fonteyn, Margot, Pavlova, Portrait of a Dancer. Viking, 1984.


Archival collections


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Bolshoi Ballet ballet company in Moscow, Russia

The Bolshoi Ballet is an internationally renowned classical ballet company, based at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Russian Federation. Founded in 1776, the Bolshoi is among the world's oldest ballet companies. It only achieved worldwide acclaim, however, in the early 20th century when Moscow became the capital of Soviet Russia. Along with the Mariinsky Ballet in Saint Petersburg, the Bolshoi is recognised as one of the foremost ballet companies in the world.

<i>Giselle</i> ballet

Giselle is a romantic ballet in two acts. It was first performed by the Ballet du Théâtre de l'Académie Royale de Musique at the Salle Le Peletier in Paris, France on 28 June 1841, with Italian ballerina Carlotta Grisi as Giselle. The ballet was an unqualified triumph. Giselle became hugely popular and was staged at once across Europe, Russia, and the United States. The traditional choreography that has been passed down to the present day derives primarily from the revivals staged by Marius Petipa during the late 19th and early 20th centuries for the Imperial Ballet in St. Petersburg.

Michel Fokine Russian ballet dancer and choreographer

Michael Fokine was a groundbreaking Russian choreographer and dancer.

Pierina Legnani Italian ballerina

Pierina Legnani was an Italian ballerina considered one of the greatest ballerinas of all time.

Tamara Karsavina Russian ballet dancer

Tamara Platonovna Karsavina was a Russian prima ballerina, renowned for her beauty, who was a principal artist of the Imperial Russian Ballet and later of the Ballets Russes of Serge Diaghilev. After settling in Britain at Hampstead in London, she began teaching ballet professionally and became recognised as one of the founders of modern British ballet. She assisted in the establishment of The Royal Ballet and was a founder member of the Royal Academy of Dance, which is now the world's largest dance-teaching organisation.

Carlotta Grisi Italian ballet dancer

Carlotta Grisi was an Italian ballet dancer. Born in Visinada, Istria, she was trained at the ballet school of Teatro alla Scala in Milan and later with dancer/balletmaster Jules Perrot. She was especially noted for her performance in the classic role of "Giselle".

<i>La fille mal gardée</i> ballet

La Fille mal gardée is a comic ballet presented in two acts, inspired by Pierre-Antoine Baudouin's 1789 painting, La réprimande/Une jeune fille querellée par sa mère. The ballet was originally choreographed by the Ballet Master Jean Dauberval to a pastiche of music based on fifty-five popular French airs. The ballet was premiered on 1 July 1789 at the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux in Bordeaux, France under the title Le ballet de la paille, ou Il n'est qu'un pas du mal au bien.

Mathilde Kschessinska Russian ballet dancer and princess

Mathilda-Marie Feliksovna Kschessinskaya was a Russian ballerina from a family of Polish origin. Her father Feliks Krzesiński and her brother both danced in St. Petersburg. She was a mistress of the future Tsar Nicholas II of Russia prior to his marriage, and later the wife of his cousin Grand Duke Andrei Vladimirovich of Russia.

Enrico Cecchetti Enrico Cecchetti

Enrico Cecchetti was an Italian ballet dancer, mime, and founder of the Cecchetti method. The son of two dancers from Civitanova Marche, he was born in the costuming room of the Teatro Tordinona in Rome. After an illustrious career as a dancer in Europe, he went to dance for the Imperial Ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia, where he further honed his skills. Cecchetti was praised for his agility and strength in his performances, as well as his technical abilities in dance. By 1888, he was widely accepted as the greatest ballet virtuoso in the world.

Natalia Makarova Soviet and American ballet dancer

Natalia Romanovna Makarova is a Soviet-Russian-born prima ballerina and choreographer. The History of Dance, published in 1981, notes that "her performances set standards of artistry and aristocracy of dance which mark her as the finest ballerina of her generation in the West."

Olga Spessivtseva Russian ballet dancer

Olga Alexandrovna Spessivtseva (Russian: Ольга Алекса́ндровна Спеси́вцева was a Russian ballerina whose stage career spanned from 1913 to 1939.

Paquita is a ballet in two acts and three scenes originally choreographed by Joseph Mazilier to music by Édouard Deldevez and Ludwig Minkus.

Yekaterina Vazem Russian prima ballerina

Yekaterina Ottovna Vazem (Russian: Екатери́на Отто́вна Ва́зем; was a Russian prima ballerina and instructor, whose most noted pupil was the legendary Anna Pavlova.

Natalia Osipova Russian ballerina

Natalia Petrovna Osipova is a Russian ballerina, currently performing as a principal dancer with the Royal Ballet in London.

<i>Anna Pavlova</i> (film) 1983 biographical film directed by Emil Loteanu

Anna Pavlova, also known as A Woman for All Time, is a 1983 biographical drama film depicting the life of the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova, written and directed by Emil Loteanu and starring Galina Belyayeva, James Fox and Sergey Shakurov. It depicts Pavlova's passion for art and her collaboration with the reformers of ballet including Michel Fokine, Vaslav Nijinsky and Sergei Diaghilev.

Svetlana Lunkina Russian ballet dancer

Svetlana Aleksandrovna Lunkina is a Russian ballerina who is a principal dancer with the National Ballet of Canada.

Mona Inglesby British ballerina, choreographer and director

Mona Inglesby , was a British ballet dancer, choreographer, director of the touring company International Ballet, and the person who saved the Sergeyev Collection for posterity.

Nicholas Grigoryevich Sergeyev (1876–1951) was a Russian ballet dancer, choreographer and teacher, and regisseur of the Imperial Ballet at the Maryinsky Theatre, St Petersburg. He fled Russia in 1919 and spent the rest of his life in the west, producing ballets for many of the leading western companies of the time. He is remembered for preserving what is now called the Sergeyev Collection for future generations.