HAVANA._ Cuba’s National Museum of Dance is exhibiting several documents and items related to the legendary Russian dancer Ana Pavlova on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of her debut on the island.
An original costume, sculptures, oil paintings, program leaflets autographed by the diva, magazines and other publications about her make up the exhibit, which will remain open to the public throughout April.
The same day of the inauguration on March 13, Cuba’s Ministry of Communications issued a stamp with the image of the dancer during one of her performances.
Pavlova studied at the Imperial Ballet School of St. Petersburg, where she became prima-ballerina in 1906.
She also shone as lead dancer with the Diaghilev Ballet ompany; one of the most prestigious schools during the first half of the 20th century. At a later stage she founded her own company and performed in different parts of the world including Havana.
Pavlova also captivated and inspired other dancers, musicians, painters, poets, and choreographers such as Mijaíl Fokin, who featured her as a dancer in the premiering of one of his most delicate pieces: Les Sylphides.
According to the choreographer, “it was as if she was flying on stage” while performing that ballet.
Fokin made several ballet pieces for her, but the “The Swan’s Death” immediately went down in the history of dance as the most exquisite choreographic miniature of the early 20th century and as one of the most complex and intricate performances, due to the delicate nature and credibility of its only protagonist.
The poetic image of the injured swan while it is dying could transcend thanks to the talent of its creator and the dancer’s brilliant representation.
It is not yet known why Pávlova kept her marriage to her agent secret for so many years. Her early death has been compared to the suffering of the swan she personified in so many of her shows.
Shortly before dying of pleurisy at the age of 50, Pavlova told the person looking after her – “get my swan costume ready” – whereupon she died only moments later.
Curiously, the same year the Russian dancer died (1931) a young Cuban girl named Alicia Alonso would make her debut with The Sleeping Beauty; the same ballet piece that had inspired Pavlova to become a dancer when she was a little girl herself.Share on FB Share on TT