Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

Recommended Posts

THE FAIRY DOLL exceprt shown in the first clip is taken from margot fonteyn's MAGIC OF THE DANCE series. [see listing below, which interestingly fails to note the 'fairy doll' segment]

THE SWAN - w/ a russian speaker overvoicing the footage at the start - is unfamiliar to me in this presentation but fonteyn's MAGIC OF DANCE also includes a version of this film as do other compilations, of films about pavlova. THAT'S DANCING includes some clips from THE DUMBGIRL OF PORTICI, and a rather comprehensive film telecast by german tv some years back included a good number of pavlova films from this era.

still it's good to know these two are now available on the internet.

NYPL cat. entry for a compilation of films, likely those included in the german tv program:

Immortal swan 1935. 33 min. Subtitle: Anna Pavlova dans Le cygne immortel; un document sur sa vie et son art. Presented by Productions Limited. Directed by Edward Nakhimov; edited under the supervision of Victor Dandré. Music arr. and conducted by Vladimir Launitz.

Summary: Dance sequences (incorporating silent film made in Hollywood, 1924) and informal shots of Pavlova.

PARTIAL CONTENTS.--Chopiniana [Les sylphides] (Clustine after Fokin, adapted by Algeranoff), performed by Beatrice Burke, Eileen Anderson, Kathleen Crofton, Eileen Dolomore, Juliet Jervis, Nancy Hanley, Mollie Lake, Christine Rosslyn, Mary Skeaping, Joan Ward and Sylvia White.--Invitation to the dance (Zajlich), sequence for corps de ballet followed by solo by Pavlova.--La nuit (Legat), Anna Pavlova.--Californian poppy (Pavlova), Anna Pavlova.--Rondino (Pavlova), Anna Pavlova; danced outdoors, mostly in slow motion.--Anna Pavlova at Ivy House calling to the swans.--Fairy doll: excerpt (Clustine), Anna Pavlova.--Unidentified dance, perhaps another version of Coquetterie de Columbine.--Don Quixote: Act II Adagio (Petipa), Pavlova and company.--Coquetterie de Columbine (Legat), Anna Pavlova.--Anna Pavlova in Egypt.--Danse grecque, probably an excerpt from the opera ballet Orpheus and Euridice, Anna Pavlova.--Dragon fly (Pavlova), Anna Pavlova.

The magic of dance, part II [videorecording] / BBC-TV production in association with Time-Life TV and RM Productions, Munich ; producer, Patricia Foy. U.K. : British Broadcasting Corporation, c1979. (60 min.) : sd., col.

Magic of dance ; Part II.

Part II: The ebb and flow. Narrator/host: Margot Fonteyn. Historical consultant, Ivor Guest.

Anna Pavlova's memorial service. Excerpts of Pavlova dancing The dying swan (Fokine), La nuit (N. Legat), and Rondino (Pavlova) (10 min.) / danced by Pavlova -- Children of Theater Street (film) : brief excerpt -- Flore and Zephyr : the return of springtime (4 min. excerpt) / choreography, Mary Skeaping ; music, Cesare Bossi ; performed by Carolyn Sinclair, Matthew Hawkins, and Sue Nye -- John Durang's hornpipe reconstructed (3 min.) / danced by Wayne Sleep -- Giselle, Act II excerpt (ca. 3 min.) / danced by Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev -- Zapateado (1 min.) / danced by José de Udaeta -- Jota (3 min.) / danced by Esbart Dansaire de Rubi -- Don Quixote, opening adagio (5 min.) / danced by Yoko Morishita and Tetsutaro Shimizu -- Fonteyn discusses Tchaikovsky while touring his house in Russia (4 min.) -- The sleeping beauty, excerpt (ca. 5 min.) / danced by Fonteyn and the Royal Ballet -- Marie Rambert discusses Diaghilev (2 min.) -- Petrushka, scene II (4 min.) / choreography, Michel Fokine ; music, Stravinsky ; danced by Mikhail Baryshnikov -- Apollo, pas de deux (4 min.) / choreography, George Balanchine ; music, Stravinsky ; danced by Desmond Kelly and Vyvyan Lorrayne.

Link to comment

It is so interesting to see what still comes through and works and what is now almost incomprehensible. The Dying Swan seems to hold up better than the Fairy Doll footage, but I'm not entirely convinced that's free of media influence. I'm assuming these were both silent films shot at a different frame rate? Does the Dying Swan hold up better because it was slower to start with or was the footage somehow manipulated to correct the speed? I find if I focus "on her heart" with the rest of my attention on her being sort of peripheral (rather than studying her line or her turn out or watching her feet), that Dying swan still holds up expressively except that I can't quite get over the floppy arms flapping about in the periphery of my consciousness...

How old was she when the Fairy Doll was shot? When did arabesque with an extended straight leg become fashionable?

Dying Swan:

She does seem to have an expressive upper back and her bourees can suddenly travel with an expressive darting that I don't think is typical of interpretations nowadays (?) When she does that kneeling port de bras back, she so looks like a swan with a broken neck... The parts where she's bourreeing looking & reaching up are reminiscent of Isadora Duncan photos.

Fairy Doll:

The music & applause are kind of annoying in this... I assume they were dubbed in afterward for effect. I suspect part of Pavlova's magic was her musicality (Dying Swan is a good vehicle for musicality, don't you think?), and so it's hard to judge her dancing here.... surely those developpes aren't at true speed? Trying to assess her legend watching a piece that looks designed to be "cutesy" is difficult. It looks as though Pavlova could go from great suppleness (for her time) to springy energy without much difficulty. How old and famous was she by this time? It's hard to imagine someone just breaking into fame getting away with those bobbing arabesques, but her epaulement is beautiful, particularly in the opening pose.

Call me crazy, but I wish there had been a shot with a wider angled lens with diffusion enough to begin to blur the edges and framed more closely centered on her upper chest... (not because I'm trying to stare at her body but because I think her energy is centered and emanates from there)... I think we'd have a stronger sense of her legend.

Dim flickers from a lost world...

I hope this is a trend for the future... if soon we can all immediately reference videos of dance, dance discussion and scholarship should receive a big boost! It's got to help to be able to instantly look at clip (rather than attempt to imagine or remember or even at the luckiest dig through a closet of videotapes). (Guilty of hunting down ballet video clips.... now there's a comprehensive link site I wish someone would organize!)

Link to comment

a useful article about the films and filming of anna pavlova appeared in BALLET REVIEW as follows:

The swan immortalized / by Maggie Odom Devine.

Ballet review. New York. v. 21, no. 2, Summer 1993, p. 67-80. ill.

Discusses Anna Pavlova and her repertory preserved on film.

Includes bibliographical references.

Link to comment
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...