Day 261 of Colourisation Project – January 23
Challenge: to publish daily a colourised photo that has some significance around the day of publication.
The most-celebrated and influential dancer of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Anna Pavlova was a principal artist of the Imperial Russian Ballet and the Ballets Russes of Sergei Diaghilev.
Born in 1881, Pavlova was a fragile young girl; fellow students nicknamed her ‘The Broom’. She was at first denied entry to the Russian Imperial Ballet School due to the delicacy of her constitution, but ‘The Broom’ went on to become one of the most famous classical ballet dancers in world history.
A gifted young ballerina, she was just seven years into her ballet career when she was promoted to prima ballerina. Totally dedicated to her profession, she founded her own ballet company in 1911. It was the first company to tour ballet around the world. Over a period of 22 years, she triumphantly toured many countries including the USA, Mexico, India, Egypt, China, Japan, South Africa, New Zealand, Cuba, the Philippines as well as Australia in 1926 and 1929, providing enormous influence on the future direction of Australian dance.
Anna Pavlova died this day, January 23, 1931, from double pneumonia in The Hague, Netherlands, three weeks short of her 50th birthday.
It is said that on her deathbed, she asked to see her swan costume one last time. In accordance with old ballet tradition, on the day she was to have next performed, the show went on as scheduled. A single spotlight circled an empty stage where she would have been.
So I leave you today with Anna Pavlova performing her signature role, The Dying Swan, the dance she made famous. Created in 1905, it is danced to Le cygne from The Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns. (Filmed circa 1906.)
“No one can arrive from being talented alone. God gives talent, work transforms talent into genius.” ~ Anna Pavlova