Anna Pavlova (dancer)
Overview
 
Anna Pavlova was a Russian ballerina
Ballerina
A ballerina is a title used to describe a principal female professional ballet dancer in a large company; the male equivalent to this title is danseur or ballerino...

 of the late 19th and the early 20th century. She is widely regarded as one of the finest classical ballet
Classical ballet
Classical Ballet is the most formal of the ballet styles, it adheres to traditional ballet technique. There are variations relating to area of origin, such as Russian ballet, French ballet, British ballet and Italian ballet...

 dancers in history and was most noted as a principal artist of the Imperial Russian Ballet and the Ballets Russes
Ballets Russes
The Ballets Russes was an itinerant ballet company from Russia which performed between 1909 and 1929 in many countries. Directed by Sergei Diaghilev, it is regarded as the greatest ballet company of the 20th century. Many of its dancers originated from the Imperial Ballet of Saint Petersburg...

 of Sergei Diaghilev
Sergei Diaghilev
Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev , usually referred to outside of Russia as Serge, was a Russian art critic, patron, ballet impresario and founder of the Ballets Russes, from which many famous dancers and choreographers would arise.-Early life and career:...

. Pavlova is most recognised for the creation of the role The Dying Swan
The Dying Swan
The Dying Swan is a ballet choreographed by Mikhail Fokine in 1905 to Camille Saint-Saëns's cello solo Le Cygne from Le Carnaval des Animaux as a pièce d'occasion for the ballerina Anna Pavlova. The short ballet follows the last moments in the life of a swan, and was first presented in St....

and, with her own company, became the first ballerina to tour ballet around the world.
Her mother was a laundress named Lyubov Feodorovna.
Encyclopedia
Anna Pavlova was a Russian ballerina
Ballerina
A ballerina is a title used to describe a principal female professional ballet dancer in a large company; the male equivalent to this title is danseur or ballerino...

 of the late 19th and the early 20th century. She is widely regarded as one of the finest classical ballet
Classical ballet
Classical Ballet is the most formal of the ballet styles, it adheres to traditional ballet technique. There are variations relating to area of origin, such as Russian ballet, French ballet, British ballet and Italian ballet...

 dancers in history and was most noted as a principal artist of the Imperial Russian Ballet and the Ballets Russes
Ballets Russes
The Ballets Russes was an itinerant ballet company from Russia which performed between 1909 and 1929 in many countries. Directed by Sergei Diaghilev, it is regarded as the greatest ballet company of the 20th century. Many of its dancers originated from the Imperial Ballet of Saint Petersburg...

 of Sergei Diaghilev
Sergei Diaghilev
Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev , usually referred to outside of Russia as Serge, was a Russian art critic, patron, ballet impresario and founder of the Ballets Russes, from which many famous dancers and choreographers would arise.-Early life and career:...

. Pavlova is most recognised for the creation of the role The Dying Swan
The Dying Swan
The Dying Swan is a ballet choreographed by Mikhail Fokine in 1905 to Camille Saint-Saëns's cello solo Le Cygne from Le Carnaval des Animaux as a pièce d'occasion for the ballerina Anna Pavlova. The short ballet follows the last moments in the life of a swan, and was first presented in St....

and, with her own company, became the first ballerina to tour ballet around the world.

Early life

Her mother was a laundress named Lyubov Feodorovna. The identity of her father has been open to debate. She later claimed her father had died when she was two years old. Some sources, including The Saint Petersburg Gazette, have claimed that her illegitimate father was the banker Lazar Polyakov
Lazar Polyakov
Lazar Polyakov was a Jewish–Russian entrepreneur. Polyakov founded his first bank in 1872 and by 1890s owned an influential financial group; he was informally named "Rothschild of Moscow"...

. Her mother's second husband, Matvey Pavlov, is believed to have adopted her at the age of three, by which she acquired his last name.

Pavlova's passion for the art of ballet
Ballet
Ballet is a type of performance dance, that originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century, and which was further developed in France and Russia as a concert dance form. The early portions preceded the invention of the proscenium stage and were presented in large chambers with...

 was ignited when her mother took her to a performance of Marius Petipa
Marius Petipa
Victor Marius Alphonse Petipa was a French ballet dancer, teacher and choreographer. Petipa is considered to be the most influential ballet master and choreographer of ballet that has ever lived....

's original production of The Sleeping Beauty at the Imperial Maryinsky Theater. The lavish spectacle made an impression on the young Pavlova, and at the age of eight she was taken by her mother to audition for the renowned Imperial Ballet School
Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet
The Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet is a school of classical ballet in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The school was previously known as the Imperial Ballet School, becoming the Leningrad State Choreographic Institute during the Soviet era...

. Because of her age, and what was considered to be a "sickly" appearance, she was not chosen, but in 1891 she was finally accepted, at the age of 10. She appeared for the first time on stage in Marius Petipa
Marius Petipa
Victor Marius Alphonse Petipa was a French ballet dancer, teacher and choreographer. Petipa is considered to be the most influential ballet master and choreographer of ballet that has ever lived....

's Un conte de fées
A Fairy Tale
A Fairy Tale - Fantastic ballet in 1 Act, with choreography by Marius Petipa, and music by Richter.First presented by students of the Imperial Ballet School on April 4/16 , 1891 in the theatre of the Imperial Ballet School, St...

(A Fairy Tale), which the ballet master staged for the students of the school.

The young Pavlova's years of training were difficult, as classical ballet did not come easily to her. Her severely arched feet, thin ankles, and long limbs clashed with the small and compact body in favor for the ballerina at the time. Her fellow students taunted her with such nicknames as The broom and La petite sauvage (The little savage). Undeterred, Pavlova trained to improve her technique. She took extra lessons from the noted teachers of the day — Christian Johansson
Christian Johansson
Christian Johansson was a teacher, choreographer and coaching balletmaster for the Russian Imperial Ballet. Born Pehr Christian Johansson in Stockholm, Sweden, he moved to Russia as a dancer and stayed on as one of the most important teachers in Russian history...

, Pavel Gerdt
Pavel Gerdt
Pavel Andreyevich Gerdt, also known as Paul Gerdt , was the Premier Danseur Noble of the Imperial Ballet, the Bolshoi Kamenny Theatre, and the Mariinsky Theatre for 56 years, making his debut in 1860, and retiring in 1916...

, Nikolai Legat and more especially from Enrico Cecchetti
Enrico Cecchetti
Enrico Cecchetti was an Italian ballet dancer, mime, and founder of the Cecchetti method. The son of two dancers from Civitanova Marche, he was born in the costuming room of the Teatro Tordinona in Rome. After an illustrious career as a dancer in Europe, he went to dance for the Imperial Ballet in...

, considered the greatest ballet virtuoso of the time and founder of the Cecchetti method
Cecchetti method
The Cecchetti method is a ballet technique and training system devised by the Italian ballet master and pedagogue Enrico Cecchetti . The Cecchetti method, is a strict training system with special concern for anatomy within the confines of classical ballet technique, and seeks to develop the...

, a very influential ballet technique used up to this day. In 1898 she entered the classe de perfection of Ekaterina Vazem
Ekaterina Vazem
Ekaterina Vazem was a Russian prima ballerina. She was made famous for first dancing the role of Nikiya in 1877 Marius Petipa's ballet, La Bayadère...

, former Prima ballerina of the Saint Petersburg Imperial Theatres.

During her final year at the Imperial Ballet School, she performed many roles with the principal company. She graduated in 1899 at age 18, being allowed to enter the Imperial Ballet a rank ahead of corps de ballet as a coryphée. She made her official début at the Mariinsky Theatre in Pavel Gerdt's Les Dryades prétendues (The False Dryads). Her performance drew praise from the critics, particularly the great critic and historian Nikolai Bezobrazov.

Style

At the height of Petipa's strict academicism, the public was taken aback by Pavlova's style, which was a combination of an amazing dance gift that paid little heed to academic rules; she frequently performed with bent knees, bad turnout, misplaced port de bras and incorrectly placed tours. Such a style in many ways harked back to the time of the romantic ballet
Romantic ballet
The Romantic ballet is defined primarily by an era in ballet in which the ideas of Romanticism in art and literature influenced the creation of ballets. The era occurred during the early to mid 19th century primarily at the Théâtre de l'Académie Royale de Musique of the Paris Opera Ballet and Her...

 and the great ballerinas of old.

Pavlova performed in various classical variations
Variation (ballet)
Variation or Classical Variation in ballet is a solo dance. As with an Aria in opera, which allows the singer to demonstrate his or her interpretive skills, the variation in ballet has the same function...

, pas de deux
Pas de deux
In ballet, a pas de deux is a duet in which ballet dancers perform the dance together. It usually consists of an entrée, adagio, two variations , and a coda.-Notable Pas de deux:...

and pas de trois
Pas de trois
Pas de trois. French term usually referring to a dance in ballet between three people. Typically a Pas de trois in ballet consists of 6 parts -#The Entrée...

in such ballets as La Camargo
Camargo (ballet)
Camargo is a "Grand ballet" in 3 acts/9 scenes, with choreography by Marius Petipa, and music by Ludwig Minkus. The libretto, by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and Marius Petipa, is based on an incident in the life of the 18th century dancer Marie Camargo, in which she and her sister...

, Le Roi Candaule
Tsar Kandavl or Le Roi Candaule
Tsar Kandavl; AKA Le Roi Candaule is a Grand ballet in 4 Acts-6 Scenes, with choreography by Marius Petipa, and music by Cesare Pugni. Libretto by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges, based on the history of King Candaules the Ruler of Lydia, as described by Herodotus in his Histories...

, Marcobomba and The Sleeping Beauty. Her enthusiasm often led her astray: once during a performance as the River Thames in Petipa's The Pharaoh's Daughter
The Pharaoh's Daughter
The Pharaoh's Daughter , is a ballet choreographed by Marius Petipa, to the music of Cesare Pugni, with libretto by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges from Théophile Gautier's Le Roman de la Momie...

her energetic double pique turns led her to lose her balance, and she ended up falling in the prompter's box
Prompt corner
The prompt corner or prompt box in a theatre is the location at the side of the stage where the prompt is located in order to coordinate the performance and prompt the performers when required.-Location:Historically, the prompt corner was situated on the left side of the stage, therefore Prompt...

. Her weak ankles led to difficulty while performing as the fairy Candide in Petipa's The Sleeping Beauty, leading the ballerina to revise the fairy's jumps en pointe, much to the surprise of the Ballet Master. She tried desperately to imitate the renowned Prima ballerina of the day Pierina Legnani
Pierina Legnani
Pierina Legnani was an Italian ballerina, a terre-à-terre virtuosa extraordinaire, considered one of the greatest ballerinas of all time.-Career:...

, Prima ballerina assoluta of the Imperial Theaters. Once during class she attempted Legnani's famous fouettés
32 fouettés en tournant
32 fouettés en tournant is a movement in classical ballet.-Movement:A fouetté rond de jambe en tournant is an action where the dancer stands momentarily on flat foot with the supporting knee bent as the other "working" leg is whipped around to the side, creating the impetus to spin one turn...

, causing her teacher Pavel Gerdt to fly into a rage. He told her to
... leave acrobatics to others. It is positively more than I can bear to see the pressure such steps put on your delicate muscles and the severe arch of your foot. I beg you to never again try to imitate those who are physically stronger than you. You must realize that your daintiness and fragility are your greatest assets. You should always do the kind of dancing which brings out your own rare qualities instead of trying to win praise by mere acrobatic tricks.

Career

Pavlova rose through the ranks quickly, becoming a favorite of the old maestro Petipa. It was from Petipa himself that Pavlova learned the title role in Paquita
Paquita
Paquita is a ballet in two acts and three scenes, with libretto by Joseph Mazilier and Paul Foucher. Originally choreographed by Joseph Mazilier to the music of Edouard Deldevez. First presented by at the Salle Le Peletier by the Paris Opera Ballet on 1 April 1846...

, Princess Aspicia in The Pharaoh's Daughter, Queen Nisia in Le Roi Candaule, and Giselle. She was named coryphée in 1902, première danseuse in 1905, and finally prima ballerina in 1906 after a resounding performance in Giselle
Giselle
Giselle is a ballet in two acts with a libretto by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and Théophile Gautier, music by Adolphe Adam, and choreography by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot. The librettist took his inspiration from a poem by Heinrich Heine...

. Petipa revised many grand pas for her, as well as many supplemental variations. She was much celebrated by the fanatical balletomanes of Tsarist Saint Petersburg, her legions of fans calling themselves the Pavlovatzi.

When the prima ballerina assoluta
Prima ballerina assoluta
Prima ballerina assoluta is a rank or title given to notable female ballet dancers. To be recognised as a prima ballerina assoluta is a very rare honour, reserved only for the most exceptional soloists, usually those who have achieved international acclaim....

of the Imperial Theaters Mathilde Kschessinska
Mathilde Kschessinska
Mathilda-Marie Feliksovna Kschessinskaya She was known in the West as Mathilde Kschessinska or Matilda Kshesinskaya.- Life :Kschessinska was born at Ligovo, near Peterhof. Like all her Polish family, to whom she was known as Matylda Krzesińska, Mathilde performed at the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre...

 was with child in 1901, she coached Pavlova in the role of Nikya in La Bayadère
La Bayadère
La Bayadère is a ballet, originally staged in four acts and seven tableaux by French choreographer Marius Petipa to the music of Ludwig Minkus. La Bayadère was first performed by the Imperial Ballet at the Imperial Bolshoi Kamenny Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, on...

. Kschessinska, not wanting to be upstaged, was certain Pavlova would fail in the role, as she was considered technically inferior because of her small ankles and lithe legs. Instead audiences became enchanted with Pavlova and her frail, ethereal look, which fitted the role perfectly, particularly in the scene The Kingdom of the Shades.

Her feet were extremely rigid, so she strengthened her pointe shoe by adding a piece of hard wood on the soles for support and curving the box of the shoe. At the time, many considered this "cheating", for a ballerina of the era was taught that she, not her shoes, must hold her weight en pointe. In Pavlova's case this was extremely difficult, as the shape of her feet required her to balance her weight on her little toes. Her solution became, over time, the precursor of the modern pointe shoe, as pointe work became less painful and easier for curved feet. According to Margot Fonteyn
Margot Fonteyn
Dame Margot Fonteyn de Arias, DBE , was an English ballerina of the 20th century. She is widely regarded as one of the greatest classical ballet dancers of all time...

's biography, Pavlova did not like the way her invention looked in photographs, so she would remove it or have the photographs altered so that it appeared she was using a normal pointe shoe.

Pavlova is perhaps most renowned for creating the role of The Dying Swan
The Dying Swan
The Dying Swan is a ballet choreographed by Mikhail Fokine in 1905 to Camille Saint-Saëns's cello solo Le Cygne from Le Carnaval des Animaux as a pièce d'occasion for the ballerina Anna Pavlova. The short ballet follows the last moments in the life of a swan, and was first presented in St....

, a solo choreographed for her by Michel Fokine
Michel Fokine
Michel Fokine was a groundbreaking Russian choreographer and dancer.-Biography:...

. The ballet, created in 1905, is danced to Le cygne
Le Cygne
Le Cygne is a scholarly journal, published once a year, in April, by the International Marie de France Society.It is included in the Modern Language Association International Bibliography database....

from The Carnival of the Animals
The Carnival of the Animals
Le carnaval des animaux is a musical suite of fourteen movements by the French Romantic composer Camille Saint-Saëns. The orchestral work has a duration between 22 and 30 minutes.-History:...

by Camille Saint-Saëns
Camille Saint-Saëns
Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns was a French Late-Romantic composer, organist, conductor, and pianist. He is known especially for The Carnival of the Animals, Danse macabre, Samson and Delilah, Piano Concerto No. 2, Cello Concerto No. 1, Havanaise, Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, and his Symphony...

.

In the first years of the Ballets Russes
Ballets Russes
The Ballets Russes was an itinerant ballet company from Russia which performed between 1909 and 1929 in many countries. Directed by Sergei Diaghilev, it is regarded as the greatest ballet company of the 20th century. Many of its dancers originated from the Imperial Ballet of Saint Petersburg...

 Pavlova worked briefly for Sergei Diaghilev
Sergei Diaghilev
Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev , usually referred to outside of Russia as Serge, was a Russian art critic, patron, ballet impresario and founder of the Ballets Russes, from which many famous dancers and choreographers would arise.-Early life and career:...

. Originally she was to dance the lead in Mikhail Fokine
Michel Fokine
Michel Fokine was a groundbreaking Russian choreographer and dancer.-Biography:...

's The Firebird
The Firebird
The Firebird is a 1910 ballet created by the composer Igor Stravinsky and choreographer Michel Fokine. The ballet is based on Russian folk tales of the magical glowing bird of the same name that is both a blessing and a curse to its captor....

, but refused the part, as she could not come to terms with Igor Stravinsky
Igor Stravinsky
Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky ; 6 April 1971) was a Russian, later naturalized French, and then naturalized American composer, pianist, and conductor....

's avant-garde score, and the role was given to Tamara Karsavina
Tamara Karsavina
Tamara Platonovna Karsavina was a famous Russian ballerina, renowned for her beauty, who was most noted as a Principal Artist of the Imperial Russian Ballet and later the Ballets Russes of Serge Diaghilev...

. All her life Pavlova preferred the melodious "musique dansante" of the old maestros such as Cesare Pugni
Cesare Pugni
Cesare Pugni was an Italian composer of ballet music, a pianist and a violinist. In his early career he composed operas, symphonies, and various other forms of orchestral music. Pugni is most noted for the ballets he composed while serving as Composer of the Ballet Music to Her Majesty's Theatre...

 and Ludwig Minkus
Ludwig Minkus
Ludwig Minkus a.k.a. Léon Fyodorovich Minkus was an Austrian composer of ballet music, a violin virtuoso and teacher.Minkus is most noted for the music he composed while serving as Ballet Composer of the St...

, and cared little for anything else which strayed from the salon-style ballet music of the 19th century.

By the mid 1900s she founded her own company and performed throughout the world, with a repertory consisting primarily of abridgements of Petipa's works, and specially choreographed pieces for herself. The ballet writer Cyril Johnson described that "her bourrée
Bourrée
The bourrée is a dance of French origin common in Auvergne and Biscay in Spain in the 17th century. It is danced in quick double time, somewhat resembling the gavotte. The main difference between the two is the anacrusis, or upbeat; a bourrée starts on the last beat of a bar, creating a...

s were like a string of pearls"
.

England

After leaving Russia, Pavlova moved to London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, settling, in 1912, at Ivy House on North End Road, Golders Green
Golders Green
Golders Green is an area in the London Borough of Barnet in London, England. Although having some earlier history, it is essentially a 19th century suburban development situated about 5.3 miles north west of Charing Cross and centred on the crossroads of Golders Green Road and Finchley Road.In the...

, near Hampstead Heath
Hampstead Heath
Hampstead Heath is a large, ancient London park, covering . This grassy public space sits astride a sandy ridge, one of the highest points in London, running from Hampstead to Highgate, which rests on a band of London clay...

, where she lived for the rest of her life. The house had an ornamental lake where she fed her pet swans, and where now stands a statue of her by the Scots sculptor George Henry Paulin
George Henry Paulin
George Henry Paulin, often called Harry Paulin, or 'GHP' was a Scottish sculptor and artist of great note in the early 20th century....

. It is now the London Jewish Cultural Centre but a blue plaque
Blue plaque
A blue plaque is a permanent sign installed in a public place to commemorate a link between that location and a famous person or event, serving as a historical marker....

 marks it as a site of significant historical interest being Pavlova's home.
While in London Pavlova was influential in the development of British ballet, most notably inspiring the career of Alicia Markova
Alicia Markova
Dame Alicia Markova, DBE, DMus, was an English ballerina and a choreographer, director and teacher of classical ballet. Most noted for her career with Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes and touring internationally, she was widely considered to be one of the greatest classical ballet dancers of the...

. The Gate pub, located on the border of Arkley
Arkley
Arkley is a village in the London Borough of Barnet. It is located north north-west of Charing Cross, and at above sea level is one of the highest points in London....

 and Totteridge
Totteridge
Totteridge is an area of the London Borough of Barnet in north London, England. It is a mixture of suburban development and open land situated 8.20 miles north north-west of Charing Cross....

, has a story, framed on its walls, describing a visit by Pavlova and her company.

United States

Pavlova was introduced to audiences in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 by Max Rabinoff
Max Rabinoff
Max Rabinoff was a Russian-born, naturalized American opera and ballet impresario and international economic advisor. By the time he had become a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1898 he had already started an international import-export company focusing on encouraging American-Russian commerce...

 during his time as managing director of the Boston Grand Opera Company from 1914 to 1917 and was featured there with her Russian Ballet Company during that period.

Personal life

Victor Dandré, her manager and companion, may have been her husband (she deliberately clouded this issue).

Death

While touring in The Hague
The Hague
The Hague is the capital city of the province of South Holland in the Netherlands. With a population of 500,000 inhabitants , it is the third largest city of the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam...

, Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, Pavlova was told that she had pneumonia
Pneumonia
Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung—especially affecting the microscopic air sacs —associated with fever, chest symptoms, and a lack of air space on a chest X-ray. Pneumonia is typically caused by an infection but there are a number of other causes...

 and required an operation. She was also told that she would never be able to dance again if she went ahead with it. She refused to have the surgery, saying "If I can't dance then I'd rather be dead." She died of pleurisy
Pleurisy
Pleurisy is an inflammation of the pleura, the lining of the pleural cavity surrounding the lungs. Among other things, infections are the most common cause of pleurisy....

, three weeks short of her 50th birthday. She was holding her costume from The Dying Swan when she spoke her last words, "Play the last measure very softly." Her death came in the Hotel Des Indes in The Hague, which displays a wall plaque and has a cigar lounge named the Anna Pavlova Library in her memory.

In accordance with old ballet tradition, on the day she was to have next performed, the show went on as scheduled, with a single spotlight circling an empty stage where she would have been. Memorial services were held in the Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church or, alternatively, the Moscow Patriarchate The ROC is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world; including all the autocephalous churches under its umbrella, its adherents number over 150 million worldwide—about half of the 300 million...

 in London. Anna Pavlova was cremated, and her ashes placed in a columbarium
Columbarium
A columbarium is a place for the respectful and usually public storage of cinerary urns . The term comes from the Latin columba and originally referred to compartmentalized housing for doves and pigeons .The Columbarium of Pomponius Hylas is a particularly fine ancient Roman example, rich in...

 at Golders Green Crematorium
Golders Green Crematorium
Golders Green Crematorium and Mausoleum was the first crematorium to be opened in London, and one of the oldest crematoria in Britain. The land for the crematorium was purchased in 1900, costing £6,000, and was opened in 1902 by Sir Henry Thompson....

, where her urn was subsequently adorned with her ballet shoes (which since then have been stolen).

Pavlova's ashes have been a source of much controversy, following attempts by Valentina Zhilenkova and Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov, to have them flown to Moscow for interment in the Novodevichy Cemetery
Novodevichy Cemetery
Novodevichy Cemetery is the most famous cemetery in Moscow, Russia. It is next to the 16th-century Novodevichy Convent, which is the city's third most popular tourist site. It should not be confused with the Novodevichy Cemetery in Saint Petersburg....

. These attempts were based on claims that it was Pavlova's dying wish that her ashes be returned to Russia following the fall of Communism. These claims were later found to be false, as there is no evidence to suggest that this was her wish at all. The only documentary evidence that suggests that such a move would be possible is in the will of Pavlova's husband, who stipulated that if Russian authorities agreed to such a move and treated her remains with proper reverence, then the crematorium caretakers should agree to it. Despite this clause, the will does not contain a formal request or plans for a posthumous journey to Russia.

The most recent attempt to move Pavlova's remains to Russia came in 2001. Golders Green Crematorium had made arrangements for them to be flown to Russia for interment on 14 March 2001, in a ceremony to be attended by various Russian dignitaries. This plan was later abandoned after Russian authorities withdrew permission for the move. It was later revealed that neither Pavlova's family nor the Russian Government had sanctioned the move and that they had agreed the remains should stay in London.

Legacy

Pavlova inspired the choreographer Frederick Ashton
Frederick Ashton
Sir Frederick William Mallandaine Ashton OM, CH, CBE was a leading international dancer and choreographer. He is most noted as the founder choreographer of The Royal Ballet in London, but also worked as a director and choreographer of opera, film and theatre revues.-Early life:Ashton was born at...

 when as a boy of 13 he saw her dance in in the Municipal Theater in Lima
Lima
Lima is the capital and the largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers, in the central part of the country, on a desert coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Together with the seaport of Callao, it forms a contiguous urban area known as the Lima...

, Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

.

The Pavlova dessert
Pavlova (food)
Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert named after the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova. It is a meringue with a crisp crust and soft, light inner. The name is pronounced or , unlike the name of the dancer, which was or ....

 is believed to have been created in honour of the dancer either during or after one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. The nationality of its creator has been a source of argument between the two nations for many years.

The Jarabe Tapatío
Jarabe tapatío
The Jarabe Tapatío dance in its standardized form was first choreographed by the Mexican, in the early twentieth century to celebrate a government-sponsored fiesta that commemorated the successful end of the Mexican Revolution....

, known in English as the 'Mexican Hat Dance', gained popularity outside of Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 when Pavlova created a staged version in pointe shoes
Pointe shoes
A pointe shoe is a type of shoe worn by ballet dancers when performing pointework. Pointe shoes developed from the desire for dancers to appear weightless and sylph-like and have evolved to enable dancers to dance on the tips of their toes for extended periods of time...

, for which she was showered with hats by her adoring Mexican audiences. Afterward, in 1924, the Jarabe Tapatío was proclaimed Mexico’s national dance.

She once said that the country that would produce the best ballerina in history would be the United States because of all the different cultures that came together there.

Anna Pavlova was able to complete 37 twirls while on top of a moving elephant while on a tour in China.

Pavlova's life was depicted in the 1983 film Anna Pavlova
Anna Pavlova (film)
Anna Pavlova is a 1983 biographical film directed by Emil Loteanu and starring Galina Belyayeva, James Fox and Sergey Shakurov. It depicts the life of the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova. It was a co-production between Britain and the Soviet Union...

.

When the Victoria Palace Theatre
Victoria Palace Theatre
Victoria Palace Theatre is a West End theatre in Victoria Street, in the City of Westminster, opposite Victoria Station.-Origins:The theatre began life as a small concert room above the stables of the Royal Standard Hotel, a small hotel and tavern built in 1832 at what was then 522 Stockbridge...

 in London, England, opened in 1911, a gilded statue of Pavlova had been installed above the cupola of the theatre. This was taken down for its safety during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 and was lost. In 2006, a replica of the original statue was restored in its place.

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