Anna Pavlova is considered to be the most famous classical ballerinas the world has ever seen. She was intensely passionate, expressive, resilient, and driven. She showcased all over the world with an amazing 4,000 performances and traveling 350,000 miles in in 15 years to places like Australia, Paris, New York, India, and Mexico in a time where airplane travel was non-existent.
- “To tend, unfailingly, unflinchingly, towards a goal, is the secret of success.”
- “I danced from the moment I could stand.”
- “If I can not dance, I shall die!”
- “Master technique and then forget about it and be natural.”
- “No one can arrive from being talented alone. God gives talent, work transforms talent into genius.”
- “The right to happiness is fundamental.”
- “Happiness is like a butterfly which appears and delights us for one brief moment, but soon flits away.”
- “Although one may fail to find happiness in theatrical life, one never wishes to give it up after having once tasted its fruits.”
- “What exactly is success? For me it is to be found not in applause, but in the satisfaction of feeling that one is realizing one's ideal.”
Born into poverty, her first play she watched at age 8 was The Sleeping Beauty and it was then she decided to be a ballerina. It wasn’t for another 61 years until the movie Sleeping Beauty would be released by Walt Disney
In 1910, at age 28 she formed her own company of dancers and in 1913 she toured in America. Over the following fifteen years she would perform eight to nine times per week and travel without airplanes, or fast transportation, an incredible 350,000 miles by boat, buggy, train, and eventually car to Europe, Asia, North America, Central America, and Australia. Her performances in Mexico, Japan, India and Australia were brought her incredible acclaim. Her trips also brought ballet for the first time to cities.
She gave over 4,000 ballet performance with she continued working with passion and her fragile toes until her death at age 48.
She appeared in a few silent films: one, The Immortal Swan that was filmed in 1924 but was not released until 1956. Charlie Chaplin
and Harry Houdini
also starred in silent films.
January 23, 1931: Following an intense English Tour in 1930 she took a three-week vacation. On her way back to work there was a train accident. She got out of the train walked up to see what happened while wearing only a light coat over some silk pajamas, she caught pneumonia. In the Haage, Netherlands, she would not allow the doctors to operate and damager her limbs and leave her unable to perform she died with her last words, “Get my swan costume ready."
A few days after her passing at the theater where she would have performed her famous The Dying Swan the lights dimmed, curtain raised the orchestra played Saint-Saëns and a spotlight moved around the empty stage following the places where she would have been.