Soul of Dance Anna Pavlova
Soul of Dance Anna Pavlova
In fact, we know not much about real life of dancing diamond or revived inspiration, Anna Pavlova. She has written an excellent book, but this book is more about the vibrant and colorful secrets of her art, which was a lot of improvisation most of her career. Besides, her husband and impresario Victor Dandre also wrote about her. However, the beautiful and eloquent book is only a small bar to the mystery, that was sparkling in Anna Pavlova.
Perhaps, the secret of Pavlova’s differences from other dancers is in the unique individuality of her character. According to her contemporaries, looking at Pavlova, they saw no dancing, but the embodiment of her dancing dream. Indeed, she seemed airy and ethereal, flying across the stage, twittered like a bird, flashed like a child, wept and laughed easily, quickly moving from one to another. Noteworthy, she was the same, at her 15 and 45.
Her English Ivy Mansion House, “the house, wreathed with ivy,” a pond with swans greeted guests, among which was her favorite – white and proud, handsome Jack. And Jack, like a dog, went to the mistress of the garden, not afraid to take a treat from her hands.
Also, newspapers devoted to her curvy reviews. For example, “Pavlova – a cloud floating above the ground”, “A flame, flashing and fading”, “an autumnal leaf, driven by a gust of icy wind …”. “The flexible, graceful, musical, full of life and light facial expressions, she surpasses all her amazing lightness. How quickly blossomed magnificently, this bright, versatile talent”… Indeed, the press wrote about Anna Pavlova very enthusiastically.
One of her friends and loyal followers Natalia Trukhanova later recalled with heartfelt sadness, “I always wished to be able to sketch Dance! It was unique. She just lived in it, literally. She was the Soul of Dance.”
Undoubtedly, the image, which immortalized ballerina – is, of course, the Swan. At first it was not dying, in the weightless stack, trimmed down, just floating in serenity. But then Anna Pavlova added to it the famous 130 seconds of dance tragedy of untimely death. And the performance turned into a masterpiece, with the snow-pack shone “wound” – ruby brooch. When Saint-Saens saw Pavlova dancing her “Swan”, he got to meet her to say: “Madam, thanks to you I realized that I composed the beautiful music!”
Thus, the choreographic composition “The Dying Swan” became her crown role. At the scene, great or small, the spotlight came down and followed the performer. Back to the public a pointed figure appeared, dressed in a swan costume.
She rushed in the intricate zigzag agony and did not descend from pointe shoes till the end of performance. Departed from life, she left it in the position of the immortal, lyrically depicting the doomed, the surrender of the winner – death.
So, Anna included the “Dying Swan” in all her programs. According to Fokine, “The Swan” by Pavlova was proof that dance can and should be not only pleasing to the eye, and it must penetrate the soul. Her dance, impressionistic in nature, was the embodiment of the plastic music, figurative and poetic, spiritualized and elevated. Therefore, it was impossible to replicate or copy it. The secret of its success was not in the execution of steps, and emotional fulfillment and spirituality of the dance. “The secret of my popularity – the sincerity of my art” – repeated Pavlova.
Of course, Anna Pavlova adored art, loved it with a passion. In particular, she didn’t miss a single museum in the world. And Renaissance seemed to her the most beautiful of the epochs in the history of culture. Thus, Pavlova’s favorite sculptors were Michelangelo and Donatello, and favorite artists – Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, and Sodom. In fact, her ballet was under the influence of the pure lines of Renaissance art. Besides, all of her partners had athletic figures, similar to “David” by Michelangelo.
She even visited the Mary Wigman School in Dresden, and advocated the new movement in dance. Also, Pavlova liked to say that the beauty of dance meant everything to her, and the ugly – nothing.
In addition, Anna was interested in avant-garde and, and in particular, in a talented American dancer Isadora Duncan, who repeatedly came to her studio. However, Pavlova continued to relentlessly promote the art of unfading Russian classical ballet, wherever she could.
For her tours Pavlova chose such countries as India, China, and Egypt. Also, was in Japan, Burma, Malaya, Cuba, and the Philippines. There she spoke to the audience, which had never seen ballet before. She set a goal to prove that classical ballet is not the art available only to chosen. In addition, Pavlova served selflessly in the schools of small American towns in the remote province, in front of the Mexican shepherds, and the inhabitants of mountainous Indian villages. In turn, Mexicans threw to her feet their sombreros as a sign of admiration. And the Indians showered her with lotus flowers. A huge Swedish restrained silence followed her coach to the hotel, after a speech at the Royal Opera House. As for the Dutch, they just loved her.
With all her devotion to the art of Ballet, Anna Pavlova, of course, remained a woman of her age. Like any beautiful woman, she loved the fashion world. Willingly photographed, she even posed for a fur-known fashion houses in Berlin and Paris, the 1910s and 1920s. Thus, in February 1926 in Paris, she posed for the cover of fashion magazine «L’officiel”.
In England, she advertised her shoes for a shoe company «H. & M. Rayne». And clothing style «a la Pavlova» has become so popular that it gave the fashion world atlas “Pavlova”, released in 1921. Pavlova introduced the fashion of the Spanish style draped embroidered Manila shawl with tassels that could be so elegant. Also, the ballerina loved hats. Her picky when buying clothes became a legend. For instance, Baron Dandre well described prima fastidiousness in the choice of every new thing.
Yet, the activities of Anna Pavlova go far beyond her performing art. The routes of travel, crossed continents of the earth, were the routes by which Russian choreographic culture became part of the life of the peoples of different countries. In the face of Anna Pavlova Russian Ballet School has received worldwide fame and recognition.
Nevertheless, when asked where she wanted to live most, Pavlova always answered “Somewhere in Russia”. The migratory bird, wandering dancer, stayed Russian till the end. Unfortunately, to live in Russia became her only wish and an impossible dream.
Pavlova, in contrast to other prominent dancers, could not hand over to her repertoire and the followers. Not because she did not want to do it or because she had no students. No, for example, in England, she organized the whole ballet school and paid much attention to her students. She just lived as if she was ready to dance forever, along with her troupe, who adored it all: fashion, hats, shoes, behavior, disruptions, moods, gait, manner of talking and laughing.
Even leaving forever, in the gloomy morning of January 23, 1931, in the heat and unexpected delirium, she seemed to be trifling influenza, complicated by rapidly fleeting bout of pneumonia. Anna was preparing to enter the next stage … According to legend, her last words in quiet delirium were: “Prepare my Swan costume!”
Soul of Dance Anna Pavlova