Anna Pavlova - Ballet Dancers, Career and Childhood

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Anna Pavlova's Personal Details

Anna Pavlova was a Russian prima ballerina best known for her role as ‘The Dying Swan’

InformationDetail
BirthdayFebruary 12, 1881
Died onJanuary 23, 1931
NationalityRussian
FamousDancers, Ballet Dancers, Choreographers
SpousesVictor Dandré
Universities
  • Imperial Ballet School
Birth PlaceLigovo, Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire
ReligionRussian Orthodox
GenderFemale
FatherL
MotherLyubov Feodorovna
Sun SignAquarius
Born inLigovo, Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire
Died at Age49

// Famous Ballet Dancers

Anna Pavlova's photo

Who is Anna Pavlova?

Anna Pavlovna Pavlova was a Russian prima ballerina hailed to be one of the most famous dancers of all time. She reached the pinnacles of glory during the early 20th century with her slim frame, ethereal looks, and graceful dreamlike dance moves. The fact that Pavlova was not considered traditionally beautiful or that she was not of a physical built optimum for a ballerina never became a hindrance in her pursuit of becoming the most famous dancer of her days. She became fascinated with ballet after watching a performance as a young girl and decided to become a ballerina herself. However, her early training proved to be difficult because of her arched feet and long, thin limbs—technically she was not built to be a ballerina. But the young girl was determined not to let her physical imperfections come in the way of her dreams and trained under the best teachers of ballet to improve her technique. She compensated with her talents what she lacked physically. Through her determination and hard work she eventually became a world class ballerina and even founded her own company. She was one of the earliest artists who toured extensively all over the world to stage her performances.

// Famous Dancers

Childhood & Early Life

She was born to an unwed mother, Lyubov Feodorovna who was a laundress. Her biological father was rumored to be the banker Lazar Polyakov. Her mother later married Matvey Pavlov who adopted the little girl as his own daughter.

Young Anna became fascinated with dancing after watching a performance of ‘The Sleeping Beauty’. Inspired, she auditioned for the famous Imperial Ballet School where she was accepted in 1891 at the age of ten.

She had severely arched feet and long, thin limbs which made training difficult. But she was not discouraged and spent long hours practising and improved her technique under the coaching of renowned teachers like Christian Johansson, Enrico Cecchetti and Nikolai Legat.

She graduated from the Imperial Ballet School in 1899 at age of 18.

Career

Her official debut was at the the Mariinsky Theatre in Pavel Gerdt's Les Dryades pretendues in 1899. Her performance was greatly appreciated by the great critic and historian Nikolai Bezobrazov.

She was a very gifted ballerina and could perform in various classical variations such as pas de deux and pas de trios. Through her hard work and grace she became a favourite of the old maestro Petipa who selected her to play the title role in ‘Paquita’.

She rose through the ranks quickly and became danseuse in 1902 and premiere danseuse in 1905, and was eventually named the prima ballerina in 1906. Her popularity soared and her fans started calling themselves the Pavlovatzi.

She suffered from rigid feet and thus added a piece of hard wood to the sole of her pointe shoe to strengthen it. This was considered cheating during those times though it formed the basis for the creation of the modern pointe shoe.

In 1905, she performed the lead solo in Michael Fokine’s ‘The Dying Swan’ which had music by Camille Saint-Sa�ns. Her frail and supple body allowed her to perform the delicate movements to perfection and this role came to be known as her signature role.

With the passage of time she began choreographing several solos herself. She wore a gossamer gown and large dragonfly wings while performing in the ballet ‘The Dragonfly’ for which she also acted as the choreographer.

She was known to embark on long and grueling tours across the world to perform. Her first tour was in 1907 when she traveled all over Europe along with a group of dancers and performed in Berlin, Copenhagen, Prague among other major cities. The tour was highly successful.

She joined Sergei Diaghilev's Ballet Russe on its tour in 1909. The company frequently visited Australia and the dancers had a deep influence on the future of Australian dance. She toured the United States and the United Kingdom during 1910.

The year 1911 was an important one for the ballerina. She founded her own company which allowed her to retain complete creative control over the performances. Along with her company she tirelessly toured all over the world for the next several years.

Major Works

She is best known for creating the role of ‘The Dying Swan’ in the ballet of the same name. The ballad follows the last moments of the life of a swan which Pavlova portrayed with her delicate body movements and intense facial expressions. Considered her signature performance, she performed the dance around 4,000 times.

Personal Life & Legacy

She is believed to have married her manager and companion, Victor Dandre. This fact was never confirmed from her side as she kept her personal life a closely guarded secret.

She gave several charity performances to support Russian orphans of war. She adopted 15 girls into a home she had purchased and supported them with her earnings and donations from the Camp Fire Girls of America.

She was a passionate animal lover and had many pets including dogs, cats, birds and swans.

She contracted pneumonia during a tour and was advised to have an operation. However she was informed that she would not be able to dance after the surgery. The dancer chose to die rather than giving up what she loved most. She decided not to have the surgery and died in January 1931.

Trivia

This famous ballerina completed 37 turns atop a moving elephant while touring China.

// Famous Choreographers

Anna Pavlova biography timelines

  • // 12th Feb 1881
    She was born to an unwed mother, Lyubov Feodorovna who was a laundress. Her biological father was rumored to be the banker Lazar Polyakov. Her mother later married Matvey Pavlov who adopted the little girl as his own daughter.
  • // 1891
    Young Anna became fascinated with dancing after watching a performance of ‘The Sleeping Beauty’. Inspired, she auditioned for the famous Imperial Ballet School where she was accepted in 1891 at the age of ten.
  • // 1899
    She graduated from the Imperial Ballet School in 1899 at age of 18.
  • // 1899
    Her official debut was at the the Mariinsky Theatre in Pavel Gerdt's Les Dryades pretendues in 1899. Her performance was greatly appreciated by the great critic and historian Nikolai Bezobrazov.
  • // 1902 To 1906
    She rose through the ranks quickly and became danseuse in 1902 and premiere danseuse in 1905, and was eventually named the prima ballerina in 1906. Her popularity soared and her fans started calling themselves the Pavlovatzi.
  • // 1905
    In 1905, she performed the lead solo in Michael Fokine’s ‘The Dying Swan’ which had music by Camille Saint-Sa�ns. Her frail and supple body allowed her to perform the delicate movements to perfection and this role came to be known as her signature role.
  • // 1907
    She was known to embark on long and grueling tours across the world to perform. Her first tour was in 1907 when she traveled all over Europe along with a group of dancers and performed in Berlin, Copenhagen, Prague among other major cities. The tour was highly successful.
  • // 1909
    She joined Sergei Diaghilev's Ballet Russe on its tour in 1909. The company frequently visited Australia and the dancers had a deep influence on the future of Australian dance. She toured the United States and the United Kingdom during 1910.
  • // 1911
    The year 1911 was an important one for the ballerina. She founded her own company which allowed her to retain complete creative control over the performances. Along with her company she tirelessly toured all over the world for the next several years.
  • // 23rd Jan 1931
    She contracted pneumonia during a tour and was advised to have an operation. However she was informed that she would not be able to dance after the surgery. The dancer chose to die rather than giving up what she loved most. She decided not to have the surgery and died in January 1931.

// Famous Russian

Anna Pavlova's FAQ

  • What is Anna Pavlova birthday?

    Anna Pavlova was born at 1881-02-12

  • When was Anna Pavlova died?

    Anna Pavlova was died at 1931-01-23

  • Where was Anna Pavlova died?

    Anna Pavlova was died in The Hague, Netherlands

  • Which age was Anna Pavlova died?

    Anna Pavlova was died at age 49

  • Where is Anna Pavlova's birth place?

    Anna Pavlova was born in Ligovo, Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire

  • What is Anna Pavlova nationalities?

    Anna Pavlova's nationalities is Russian

  • Who is Anna Pavlova spouses?

    Anna Pavlova's spouses is Victor Dandré

  • What was Anna Pavlova universities?

    Anna Pavlova studied at Imperial Ballet School

  • What is Anna Pavlova's religion?

    Anna Pavlova's religion is Russian Orthodox

  • Who is Anna Pavlova's father?

    Anna Pavlova's father is L

  • Who is Anna Pavlova's mother?

    Anna Pavlova's mother is Lyubov Feodorovna

  • What is Anna Pavlova's sun sign?

    Anna Pavlova is Aquarius