Found this amazing book at my fave used bookstore:
Anna Pavlova In Art&Life by V. Dandré published 1932 by Cassell and Company Limited
Just look at this:
That’s our friend en pointe in front of what is probably her road box for touring. Can you imagine touring with wicker baskets? That aren’t on wheels? Hope they tipped their roadies well. Love her warm-ups too. No sweats and zip-up hoodie for this lady, uh-uh, she warms up draped in a shawl, wearing dangly earrings.
And check out this one:
Things about this picture: it is sexy and modern. That is a strong, well muscled leg, yo. This is no chunky Degas, I bet any dancer today would be pleased to sport these quick sticks.
But check out the shoe! What’s going on with that square vamp?! Straight across the front of the foot like bam! And the actual platform contacting the floor looks like it must be the tiniest of flat ovals.
Also check out this:
Are you kidding me with this picture??!
Thing about this book: it’s really beautiful, but kinda boring. Because it was written by Pavlova’s husband after her death, and, well, his love and admiration for her seem to have blocked his ability to be objective, so the book has no real opinion. Like, the chapter on How Pavlova Worked is not about her exercises or research, it’s mostly about how she was innately brilliant all the time.
The one time the author really cuts loose is when he rips on English dancers for being too reserved and lacking individuality and naturalness, and then rips on American dancers for lacking patience and wanting, “striking results in the shortest possible time”
Also interesting: he says that in England at the time dancing was considered a suitable career for girls, but boys wishing to pursue ballet were regarded as attempting to avoid serious work.
Which is, like, the one thing I’ve actually never heard male dancers accused of nowadays.
Anyway, here’s one last shot, as the final proof No One Needs that the Adult Beginner is not really very adult after all: check out the inscription: