Anna Pavlova

Anna Pavlova

Born in 1881, Anna Pavlova was an extremely talented Russian ballet dancer. While she is most famous for creating the role of the dying swan she made many other accomplishments during her career. She did not have the ideal body type for a ballerina, her feet were highly arched and her ankles were very weak. However, this led her to begin adding wood to the soles of her pointe shoes to help support her feet. At the time this was considered cheating, but it made dancing on pointe easier and less painful, thereby beginning the creation of the modern pointe shoe.
Despite her physical limitations she still managed to become an extraordinary dancer. She was described as extremely enthusiastic, graceful, and elegant. She was so incredibly talented and had such great balance that she once completed 37 turns on top of a moving elephant on a tour in China.

Amanda Ziegler

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6 thoughts on “Anna Pavlova

  1. I love the picture that Amanda posted here. It is so symbolic of Anna Pavlova’s simple, yet unconventional and striking beauty.I find it beautiful that Anna had weaknesses that she overcame to become the incredible and influential dancer she was. Ballerinas like her are the most inspirational ones to common people as they inspire people to aspire to greatness and overcome challenges in their everyday life.

    Mariah Bartelmez

  2. This is a magnificent picture of Anna Pavlova! She stands there so effortlessly, I would have never thought that she had weak ankles or any type of difficulty than other ballerinas of her time. I feel as though her creation of adding the wood to the pointe shoes was very smart, far from cheating. I see it as though she was considering all of the other girls who has or could have the same passion for ballet as she did but wasn’t able to participate because of something they couldn’t control. I bet that her completion of 37 turn while on top of a moving elephant was breath taking to experience!

    Dia Clark

  3. I really enjoy this picture; her stance is riveting and my eyes are drawn to this exquisite costume- it is all just beautiful! I think it is so inspiring how she overcame the stereotypical image of what society believed a ballet dancer should look like, and created her own path to becoming the ballet dancer she wanted to be. She was content with her body image, which is something I think all dancers should embody today.

    Lana Rakestraw

  4. I would agree with the others. I love the picture here. If you pay close attention to her feet you can see that her arch isn’t quite as some of the feet we see in highlighted dancers today. Her eyes also caught my attention. Her pose looks so naïve and innocent but her eyes look seductive and passionate which would prove memorizing during a performance. I think she was a ground-breaking, highly talented dancer. Her work in the ballet russe really helped the company stand out. Overcoming the body type associated with ballet paved the way for many dancers today.

    Ashley Driver

  5. It seems crazy to me that one weakness of weak ankles of one ballerina is what started the evolution of the point shoe to what we know of it today. I could not imagine trying to dance on point without a still/hard box on the point shoe.

    I also really love the grace and beauty of this picture, but the tutu looks way to big for Anna’s body.

    Lian Dellasala

  6. I really love this picture, to me this is what I think of when i think of ballet. It is simply beautiful. I think its neat that Anna was the one who first thought of the wood in her pointe shoes, its cool that something so essential to ballet now came from the weakness of an earlier ballerina. I also thin the costume in the picture of Anna Pavlova is simply stunning, I love the costumes in ballets.

    Aislin Sheffield

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