Vintage postcard. Prima ballerina Anna Pavlova

The museum Collection section "Prints" features a series of postcards with the images of ballet dancers of the Imperial Theatres, published by major printing workshops and photo studios. Today we are commemorating the leading Russian ballet dancer, prima ballerina of the Mariinsky Theatre, reformer of the Russian ballet school, "immortal swan" – Anna Pavlova that was born in February, 1881.

Thematic album “Vintage postcard. Prima ballerina Anna Pavlova" is posted in our photo gallery.

The renowned photographer Karl Fischer, whose legacy presents a veritable encyclopaedia of the early 20th century cultural life, made the portraits of the prominent ballet dancer. Karl Fischer created a portrait gallery of performers and ballet dancers (Vsevolod Meyerhold, Ivan Moskvin, Maria Yermolova) writers (Leo Tolstoy, Leonid Andreev, Anton Chekhov), painters (Ilya Repin, Vasily Surikov, Mikhail Vrubel) and composers (Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Sergei Rachmaninoff) in his photo workshop in Kuznetsky Most. Karl Fischer collaborated with the Tretyakov Gallery, where in 1898–1913 he enjoyed the prerogative right to make and sell photographs of exhibits. In addition to Moscow, Fischer had a branch of his photographic institution in the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. Here, from 1906 to 1913, the prima ballerina Anna Pavlova was shining on stage.

Tall, slender, with elongated arms and arched feet, airy like a sylph, Pavlova, thanks to her inborn artistic temperament, danced with great success the Spanish and demi caractère parts of the classical repertoire.

The ballerina individuality, the style of her dance and hovering leap brought Mikhail Fokine to the idea of romantic ballet revival. Therefore, in 1907, “Les Sylphides” appeared – a subtle stylisation in the spirit of the graceful vivified engraving of the Maria Taglioni era. In " Les Sylphides” Pavlova danced mazurka and the Seventh Waltz with Vaclav Nijinsky.

Her flying arabesque became history – painter Valentin Serov immortalized it on the poster for the “The Ballets Russes” in Paris in 1909.

It was after these guest performances, as a payback for the monetary debt that Michel Fokine staged “The Dying Swan” for Pavlova, which became her artistic triumph. She reformed ballet by her appearance and manner of dance, changed the attitude towards it all over the world.

In 1910, in London, she organized her own ballet troupe to stage classics, and went on a round-the-world ballet tour with it. The debut of the troupe took place in New York on February 16, 1910, and was followed by concerts in Boston, Philadelphia, and Baltimore.