Keith Money's Anna Pavlova: Her Life and Art
Posted 16 March 2008 - 07:03 PM
Warning: the book is very heavy, very dense, but obviously a huge labor of love, and it's a shame that it's OOP. If you see a copy on Amazon or elsewhere, GET IT. By the way, Money's book uses contemporary reviews to dispel some common myths about Pavlova. For one, although she didn't have the flashy bravura of the Italian trained dancers or Mathilde Kschessinska, she was considered a strong technician, and (didn't know this) an excellent turner who interpolated pirouettes and fouettes into her performances. It's really a lovely book.
Posted 16 March 2008 - 07:44 PM
Posted 17 March 2008 - 05:48 AM
The politics of the theatre in that time are carefully chronicled by Money, from the change in management to the almost ridiculous overload of talent around the turn of the century at the MT.
And then there's the stunning fact that Pavel Gerdt was still dancing Solor when he was 60.
Posted 17 March 2008 - 06:10 AM
as we know this secondary publication did not come to pass, much to KM's disappointment.
Posted 17 March 2008 - 09:52 AM
Posted 17 March 2008 - 12:06 PM
Posted 17 March 2008 - 06:35 PM
It's a wonderful book, a labor of love in every way. I can understand Money's wishes, however - it is a large, heavy book even by coffee table standards. But the photographs are really stunning and I wouldn't be without them. She was a remarkable camera subject.
She really was. And in her you can see a real link to ballerinas of the present, in a way that you can't with, say, Kschessinska or Legnani. Pavlova has the "Russian back" (considered a weakness in her time), the thin tapered legs with the delicate ankles, the highly arched instep, the wispy arms, that are all so prized today. Money got access to a lot of early photos that are "untouched" with regards to the famous pointe shoes. Pavlova would retouch her photos to hide the fact that she flattened the platform and strengthened the arch with a piece of leather. But Money has many untouched photos which show indeed the flat platform. But the heart of the book is the text, so carefully researched. And so lovingly presented. Pavlova seemed like a difficult, high-strung person, prone to tempers and strange moods, and Money acknowledges this, and he discreetly touches upon her 'protectors' at the Mariinsky, but it never seems like Dish or Gossip.
Posted 17 March 2008 - 06:50 PM
Pavlova seemed like a difficult, high-strung person, prone to tempers and strange moods, and Money acknowledges this,
My only complaint – actually, it doesn’t really rise to the status of status of ‘complaint’ -- is that Money sometimes tries a little too hard to soften some of Pavlova’s rough edges (and she did have them, what with slapping partners, and all).
And in her you can see a real link to ballerinas of the present, in a way that you can't with, say, Kschessinska or Legnani.
She’s like Sarah Bernhardt, who was also considered too thin in her day – a forerunner of the coming change in taste.
Thanks for starting this thread, canbelto. I'm going to go take the book off the shelf.
Posted 17 March 2008 - 07:05 PM
The foundations of my love of ballet started long before my birth at a Pavlova performance in New York. As a result, I've always considered myself, in a [u]very[/u] minor way, one of Pavlova's ballet children, almost like Ashton and others.
Posted 17 March 2008 - 09:28 PM
Posted 18 March 2008 - 03:51 PM
Unfortunately she is neither beautiful nor does she have an exceptionally good figure; she is thin .... That does not interfere with her artistry, but it does prevent enthusiasm from being too audible. Ladies of the ballet must be very, very pretty if one is to believe in them. With melancholy and gratitude I thought back to the unforgettable legs that march out when our Hopofer ballet takes the field, to the blooming faces and pleasing figures that make belief in life so precious.
Reviewer also had choice words for the ballet itself:
Adam's music is like the day before yesterday's soup, dispensed in driblets.
Posted 18 March 2008 - 04:59 PM
A YouTube video of Pavlova dancing the Dying Swan (with voiceover commentary in Russian) is here. might also interest those who have been following our thread on Tutu styles.
Posted 20 March 2008 - 08:37 AM
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