Wednesday, June 15, 2016

"If I can't dance then I'd rather be dead" – 27 Stunning Photographs of Ballerina Anna Pavlova From the Early 20th Century

One of the first dancers from the Imperial Russian Ballet to dance in Western Europe, Anna Pavlova has been awarded near-mythical status as the Prima Ballerina who brought ballet into the 21 Century.

Pavlova is most recognized for the creation of the role The Dying Swan and, with her own company, became the first ballerina to tour ballet around the world.

Cut off from her native Russia by the First World War, Pavlova made London her permanent home until her death in 1931.

While touring in The Hague, Pavlova was told that she had pneumonia and required an operation. She was also told that she would never be able to dance again if she went ahead with it. She refused to have the surgery, saying "If I can't dance then I'd rather be dead." She died of pleurisy, in the bedroom next to the Japanese Salon of the Hotel Des Indes in The Hague, three weeks short of her 50th birthday.

Here are some of stunning portraits of Pavlova wearing her swan costume which, according to her costume-maker Madame Manya "she never wore more than twice without the skirts of the tutu being renewed".




























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