Anna Pavolova was a Russian ballerina who lived from 1881 to 1931. During her career, she worked closely with Serge Diaghilev and Petipa. She shocked audiences by breaking the traditions of Romantic ballet techniques by performing often with bent knees and a bad turnout. She had very weak ankles and could not perform some of the more acrobatic tricks that other ballerinas were renowned for. Because of her weak ankles and curved feet, Pavolva had a hard time holding herself up en pointe. To help with this, she added a piece of wood to the toe of her pointe shoe. At the time, this was seen as cheating by many people. But, it actually precedented the modern pointe shoe. Pavolva is most known for creating the role of The Dying Swan.