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Pavlova, Anna Matveyevna

PAVLOVA, ANNA MATVEYEVNA

(18811931), the most famous of Russian ballerinas.

Anna Matveyevna Pavlova (patronymic later changed to Pavlovna) began her career in the St. Petersburg Imperial Theaters in 1898, which ended amidst her usual flurry of performing in 1930, only weeks before her death. Pavlova's rise to the rank of ballerina in the Imperial Theaters (by 1906) was rapid, though her artistic breakthrough came the following year, when she appeared in several short works choreographed by Michel Fokine. Two of these works (Les Sylphides and Le Pavillon d'Armide ) would join the roster of Serge Diagilev's Ballets Russes (as would their star performers, Pavlova and Vaslav Nijinsky). Both the ballets and dancers achieved unprecedented fame in that company's Paris season of 1909. Pavlova debuted another Fokine composition in St. Petersburg in 1908, a solo that would become her signature work and that remains strongly identified with her: The Swan, to music of Camille Saint-Saëns. Popularly known as the dying swan, this evanescent figure suited Pavlova's physical type and stage temperament. Pavlova excelled in ethereal, romantic roles such as

"Giselle," and would later create for herself a multitude of roles in which she portrayed butterflies, roses, snowflakes, dragonflies, poppies, leaves, and various other delicate creatures. After achieving international stardom with Diagilev's Ballets Russes, Pavlova struck out on her own, first negotiating an enviable contract with the Imperial Theaters, and subsequently abandoning the Russian stage to settle in London. In twenty years of touring the globe, Pavlova came to personify the peripatetic Russian ballerina, the touring star whose only home was the stage.

See also: ballet; nijinksy, vaslav fomich

bibliography

Money, Keith. (1982). Pavlova: Her Art and Life. New York: Knopf.

Tim Scholl

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Pavlova, Anna Matveyevna

Anna Matveyevna Pavlova (pävlō´və, Rus. än´nə mətvyā´əvnə päv´ləvə), 1881–1931, Russian ballerina. In 1892 she entered the Imperial Ballet School, St. Petersburg. She made her debut in 1899 at the Maryinsky Theatre, but it was only after tours to Scandinavia (1907) and to Berlin and Vienna (1908) that she gained fame. In Paris, Pavlova danced (1909) with Nijinsky in Diaghilev's Ballets Russes; she made her American debut in 1910. Thereafter, until her death, she toured extensively with her own company, working for the first year in partnership with Mikhail Mordkin. Pavlova, considered the greatest ballerina of her time, excelled in Giselle, Chopiniana, and especially in The Dying Swan, choreographed for her by Michel Fokine. Her repertoire included 23 ballets and 80 divertissements. Pavlova's perfect classical technique and ethereal quality brought her universal acclaim.

See biographies by A. H. Franks et al. (1956), O. Kerensky (1973), and J. and R. Lazzarini (1981).

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Pavlova, Anna

Pavlova, Anna (1881–1931) Russian ballerina who made her debut in 1899. She toured in Europe and the USA, and left Russia in 1913 to tour with her own company. She excelled in Giselle, The Dragonfly, Autumn Leaves, and the Dying Swan, choreographed for her by Michel Fokine in 1905.

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