Anna Pavlova by Valerian Svetloff (1931): Body and Archetype: A few thoughts on Dance Historiography

Sabine Sorgel

Research output: Other contribution

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Abstract

When it comes to history writing, dance is probably in an even worse position than theatre, if one considers its ephemerality. There is not much evidence of Anna Pavlova’s actual dancing, yet images, news paper clippings, autobiographical accounts on her personality abound. In an interview available on youtube, Frederick Ashton comments how Pavlova was actually not even that much of a ballet dancer in terms of her limited vocabulary and technique and yet he confirms that no one like her personified what is oftentimes perceived of as “the essence” of dance. Pavlova was a phenomenon of her time and continues to fascinate. The item from the collection I picked is a little book written by Valerian Svetloff, a Russian ballet critic of early 20th century, and presents us, to use the author’s words, with a ‘choreographic portrait.’
Original languageEnglish
PublisherPrifysgol Aberystwyth | Aberystwyth University
Publication statusPublished - May 2010

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