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Dying Swan


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I was recently watching a few versions of the Dying Swan and noticed that they die either in a "swan" pose (as Lopatkina performs it) or in a "maiden" pose, laying down on one side (Ulanova and a few others). I find that the choreography works better for me in version 1 and was wondering how Fokine's original choreography ended (I think that Pavloval ends it layind down on the side as well) and how the choreography has evolved with time. Any thoughts?

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as to just how pavlova ended her famous performances of fokine's SWAN, there is some question. while there are a number of photos of the ballerina in her swan tutu in fokine's solo, these are not necessarily choreographic moments, as they could be specially arranged poses for her photo sessions. alas the films that exist of pavlova in her solo all end prematurely, i.e. before the ending - the primitive filming mechanics that pertained to the 1920s didn't allow for film and filming time to extend to the solo's very end.

one clue to what was preferred by fokine outside russia is the film that does exist of markova - with whom fokine personally worked. i've seen this black-and-white footage in the south bank(?) show made about fokine and authenticity during one kirov season in london. (british readers here will know the name of this program; it escapes me at the moment.) in any case, in that film footage, markova is shown folded forward with her left hand dropping (and drooping) away, at the very end, from the seemingly final port de bras of crossed hands that preceed this moment.

i've seen a photo or two of pavlova where her arms are in a position similar to markova's but these pictures do not precisely show the moment caught in the film.

on the other hand, i've never quite seen pavlova (or markova) arranged in the poses made famous by ulanova or plisetskaya when they ended their distinct versions of the solo.

as noted: nothing conclusive here.

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