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Guide to the Collection on Anna Pavlova
MS-P050  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The collection comprises dance programs, photographs, postcards, clippings, and tributes assembled by the University of California, Irvine, Special Collections and Archives to document the career of Anna Pavlova, a ballerina who was renowned for her inspiring performances and for generating world-wide interest in ballet through her tours of the Americas and the Far East. The collection also contains papers from Pavlova's private student Beatrice Griffiths, documenting Griffiths' dance lessons and participation in Pavlova's dance company and including a typed letter of recommendation signed by Pavlova.
Background
Between 1898 and 1930, Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova was one of the most celebrated dancers in the world and generated world-wide interest in classical ballet. Her dance style was renowned for its artistry and grace in an era dominated by strength and academic technique. She danced professionally for over twenty years and tirelessly brought ballet to people who had never before had the opportunity to experience it. Sometime after 1912 she formed her own company and traveled with her troupe to six continents, dancing in small provinces as well as big cities. She incorporated multi-cultural dances into her repertoire and brought dances from East Asia and Mexico to central Europe and North America. Pavlova choreographed solos for herself and created a short ballet called Autumn Leaves. Her signature dance was Le Cygne (The Swan), which combined very traditional footwork with less formal, expressive arm movements. Through Le Cygne, Pavlova touched audiences deeply by communicating the fragility of life. She portrayed a dying swan by dancing passionately en point through the entire dance and leaving her toes only in surrender to death at the very end.
Extent
0.8 linear feet (2 boxes)
Restrictions
Property rights reside with the University of California. Printed materials created before 1923 are in the public domain. For other materials, literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permissions to reproduce or to publish other materials, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
Availability
The collection is open for research.