Dance of the Swan: A Story About Anna Pavlova by Barbara Allman

By Barbara Allman

Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1881, Anna Pavlova grew up dreaming of changing into a prima ballerina. all through her lifetime, Anna encouraged and inspired humans worldwide along with her incredibly sleek and expressive dance. Believing that expressing attractiveness is vital to the human spirit, Anna strove to aid audiences observe the hovering good looks which may uplift their spirits.

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Extra info for Dance of the Swan: A Story About Anna Pavlova

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43 44 For the dance, the girls were all dressed as f lowers and Anna as a butter fly. They gave a charming performance, and Anna was pleased with her pupils. Although Anna loved Ivy House, it seemed she never stayed there long. She wanted to share her ar t with as many people as possible, so she formed her own ballet company for touring. Victor arranged tours for her troupe and traveled with them. Unlike the Imperial Ballet, where Anna was educated, her company was not funded by a government. It was not easy to maintain a troupe of traveling per formers.

Above everything in life, art was supreme to Anna. On this principle, she spoke out for ar tistic freedom. The dancers wanted more say in how things were run. They wanted Marius Petipa back. They wanted the school’s curriculum to include classes in history of the ar ts, and they wanted changes in hours and pay. The dancers presented a petition with their demands and over two hundred signatures to the directors. The directors didn’t respond, so the dancers went on strike, refusing to per form. The directors threatened that if the ballet closed the dancers would lose their jobs.

36 37 Her maid answered that she had given people an hour of beauty and happiness, helping them to forget for a while the sorrows of everyday life. Anna began to realize that she was an ambassador for her ar t, just as Marie Taglioni had been. She was bringing the beauty of ballet to people who had never seen or appreciated classical dance before. The next season, 1909, the great ar ts promoter Sergey Diaghilev invited Anna to per form in Paris with his Ballet Russe in its opening season. Diaghilev wanted to produce a Russian ballet season in Paris because he felt sure that it would be a sensation there.

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