Thematic album “Old postcard. Prima ballerina Anna Pavlova" in our photo gallery

A variety of postcards series with the images of the Imperial Theaters artists, published by the leading printing houses and photo studios are presented in the section "Prints” of the museum Collection repository. Today we recall the Russian ballet dancer, prima ballerina of the Mariinsky Theater, reformer of the Russian ballet school, the “immortal swan” – Anna Pavlova (02.12.1881-23.01.1931).

Thematic album “Old postcard. Prima ballerina Anna Pavlova” is posted in our photo gallery.

The renowned photographer Karl Fischer, whose legacy presents a veritable encyclopedia of cultural life of the early 20th century, made the portraits of the outstanding dancer. In his photographic institution on Kuznetsky Most, Karl Fischer created a portrait gallery of artists (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). Karl Fischer collaborated with the Tretyakov Gallery, where in 1898-1913 he enjoyed the preemptive right to make and sell photographs of exhibits. In addition to the Moscow one, Fischer had a branch of his photographic institution at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg. There, from 1906 to 1913, prima ballerina Anna Pavlova shone on the stage.

Tall, slender, with elongated arms and legs with a high arches, airy like a sylph, Pavlova, thanks to her natural temperament, danced with great success the Spanish and demi caractère parts of the classical repertoire.

The ballerina individuality, the style of her dance, the hovering leap led Mikhail Fokin to the idea of the romantic ballet revival. Therefore, in 1907, “Les Sylphides” appeared – a subtle pasticcio of in an elegant revived engraving of Maria Taglioni era. In “Les Sylphides”, Pavlova danced the mazurka and the Seventh Waltz with Vaslav Nijinsky.

Her flying arabesque became history – artist 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 embarked on a world ballet tout with it. The debut took place in New York on February 16, 1910, and was followed by concerts in Boston, Philadelphia, and Baltimore.