She was such a beautiful dancer

Anna Pavlova is one of the ballet worlds most loved ballerinas. She is best known for her role in Swan Lake as The Dying Swan. It is hard to believe that she felt that she was not suited to the art of the Ballet. While her frame was perfect she suffered terrible with her feet as they were greatly arched. Her limbs too were long and gangly, and her ankles were so thin that they did seem to be able to offer her the support that the ballerina needs. She was, however, not to be deterred and showing some of the vitality and determination she would exhibit all her life early on, she decided to stick with the Imperial Ballet School and try to progress on. All of this despite the attacks on her by her fellow students

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One of the more unusual tales of Pavlova is that she gave her name to the meringue-based desert which contains meringue, cream and fruit such as raspberries. For a fruiter flavour some bakers add Raspberry Food Flavouring (like that found on to the meringue itself. For many people this is as much as they know about this beautiful artist.

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True to her own beliefs and talents Pavlova ended her time at the Imperial by entering the corp de ballet and garnering much praise form celebrated Russian critics as to confirm her belief in herself and the faith the school had placed in her. She then went to St Petersburg to continue her career. She was viewed in many quarters as a breath of fresh air. She was not afraid to dance from the heart, eschewing the point perfect, academically correct, form of ballet that was currently en vogue. Pavlova would turn out her toes, take the wrong frame, almost as a defiance. She was told never to try the acrobatics that the ballet required as her daintiness was seen as her greatest asset.

Her most famous role is that of the Dying Swan from Tchaikovsky’s seminal and most famous work Swan Lake. Here she poured all of her heart and soul into the iconic role and made it her own. She was the one they all wanted to see perform it. As she aged she decided to form her own corps and began to tour the world. This before the rise of the Revolution and she eventually settled in London in 1912. She was a godsend to the world of British Ballet and it is still feeling effects of that influence today from the works of Dame Margot Fontaine up the modern era of Darcey Bussell. Her ending was as dramatic as the Swan she portrayed so well. Recovering from an illness entailed an operation that meant she would never dance again.  She declared that she would rather be dead and duly died at the age of the fifty after complications. Her last words being “get my Swan costume ready.

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