Biography of Famous Russian Dancer and Ballerina Anna Pavlova Part 2

About the famous Russian dancer and ballerina Anna Pavlova, history and biography.

Anna Pavlova (1882-1931).

In 1908, Fokine's choreography caught the eye of Serge Diaghilev, who was then beginning his career as a great impresario. Diaghilev made Pavlova an offer to dance with his company as prima ballerina. She accepted but danced with Diaghilev's ballet company for only one season, leaving because of rivalry with the great male dancer, Vaslav Nijinsky. Pavlova disliked any competition and was often accused of surrounding herself with "mediocre" dancers in order to spotlight her own artistry. Because of jealousy and artistic temperament, she had many unpleasant confrontations with her male partners; and although she had her favorites, she never remained with one partner very long.

In 1908, Pavlova began her tireless life of touring by train and ship all over the world with her own company of dancers. She took ballet to the most obscure little towns she could find. For many people, it was the 1st and perhaps the last time they saw a ballet. Pavlova always studied the dances of the countries she visited, thereby constantly adding to her already extensive repertoire.

Although she traveled widely, Pavlova kept a permanent home, Ivy House, in London. She had a great love for birds of every kind, especially swans, which swam on a small lake she had designed for her London residence. She also kept flamingos, a peacock, and an aviary for the smaller birds she had collected during her travels.

By the 1920s, her career was coming to a close. Although plagued by a painful knee injury and overwork, she was driven by her desire to dance, and continued her exhausting schedule.

In January, 1931, she went to Holland to begin another tour. Upon her arrival at The Hague, she collapsed. On January 23, 1931, Pavlova, in a delirium of fever, spoke her final words: "Get my Swan costume ready." She died a few minutes later of pneumonia a week before her 49th birthday.

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