The collection comprises dance
programs, photographs, postcards, clippings, and tributes assembled by the University of
California, Irvine, Special Collections and Archives to document the career of Anna Pavlova,
a ballerina who was renowned for her inspiring performances and for generating world-wide
interest in ballet through her tours of the Americas and the Far East. The collection also
contains papers from Pavlova's private student Beatrice Griffiths, documenting Griffiths'
dance lessons and participation in Pavlova's dance company and including a typed letter of
recommendation signed by Pavlova.
Between 1898 and 1930, Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova was one of the most celebrated
dancers in the world and generated world-wide interest in classical ballet. Her dance style
was renowned for its artistry and grace in an era dominated by strength and academic
technique. She danced professionally for over twenty years and tirelessly brought ballet to
people who had never before had the opportunity to experience it. Sometime after 1912 she
formed her own company and traveled with her troupe to six continents, dancing in small
provinces as well as big cities. She incorporated multi-cultural dances into her repertoire
and brought dances from East Asia and Mexico to central Europe and North America. Pavlova
choreographed solos for herself and created a short ballet called Autumn Leaves. Her signature dance was Le Cygne (The
Swan), which combined very traditional footwork with less formal, expressive arm
movements. Through Le Cygne, Pavlova touched audiences deeply
by communicating the fragility of life. She portrayed a dying swan by dancing passionately
en point through the entire dance and leaving her toes only
in surrender to death at the very end.
0.8 Linear Feet
Property rights reside with the University of California. Printed materials created before
1923 are in the public domain. For other materials, literary rights are retained by the
creators of the records and their heirs. For permissions to reproduce or to publish other
materials, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
The collection is open for research.