Anna Pavlova (1881-1931)
Produced at The Palace Theatre, London - 18th April, 1910
Reviewed in the Daily Mail (London) - 19th April, 1910
WORLD'S GREATEST DANCER - PAVLOVA IN LONDON - DEBUT AT THE PALACE THEATRE
London - that is to say art and pleasure loving London - has a new sensation which will be discussed as widely and as eagerly as "Elektra" and the Sicilians, with the one difference that the new topic does not lend itself to argument, Anna Pavlova and Michael Mordkin, "Russia's acknowledged greatest dancers and the famous leaders of the Imperial Russian Ballet," who made their debut at the Palace Theatre last night, are the last word in the art of dancing. The perfection of their art cannot be disputed. It is such as to re-establish the supremacy of the traditional ballet style over the so called "classic" dance and its offshoots, of which we have had a very surfeit during the last year or two.
It is impossible to do justice to Anna Pavlova by mere description. Such grace as hers, such litheness of body, and such perfect balance in motion so quick that eyes can scarcely follow it must be seen to be believed. It is not alone the top-like whirling round on tip-toe, ending in a difficult poise that would defy the efforts of an ordinary dancer, even if it were attempted from an attitude of repose; it is none of the conventional tricks of the ballet-dancer that causes wonderment in the dancing of Anna Pavlova and her no less amazing partner, but their extraordinary effects of movement arrested, as it were, in mid-air - a pause, a hesitation that seems to defy the laws of gravity and makes you look instinctively for the wires on which these graceful marionettes must surely be suspended.
WHO SURPRISES AND DELIGHTS
Here, indeed, is the very apotheosis of ballet dancing. Even in the interpretation of music of a different order these amazing performers maintain the tradition of the ballet, which disdains realism and insists upon what might be called academic execution. Even in the frantic whirl, the staggering, the wild intoxication of the Bacchanalian dance by Glazounov they retain this academic sense of balance and order and of absolute beauty. Pavlova's indescribably graceful, coy, and coquettish movements in Rubinstein's "Valse Caprice" were so irresistible that they caused some of the audience to shout out aloud in their rapture. And each dance of the long programme brought new surprises, new delights, new storms of applause.
Nor was the success of the evening confined to the two leaders of the troupe. Indeed, one of the most remarkable items of the programme was Liszt's Second Hungarian Rhapsody, danced by Mlle. Eduardova and M. Monahoff, supported by eight members of the company. The Russian Dancers at the Palace Theatre will conquer England as they have conquered Paris. They will be the event of the season, and they will convince London of the supremacy of the Russian ballet, which London began to doubt last year when Mme. Preobajenska disappointed her covent Garden audience.
Movie Credits (source www.imdb.com)
1916 - The Dumb Girl of Portici [Fenella]