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Anna Pavlova

1926
Harold Cazneaux

gelatin silver photograph on paper (image/sheet: 20.4 cm x 15.5 cm)

Anna Pavlova (1881–1931), ballerina, was initially believed to be too tall and frail to succeed at ballet, but nevertheless graduated from the Imperial Theatre School, St. Petersburg, in 1899. In 1906 she was promoted to prima ballerina. Although she performed in the opening season of Serge Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes in Paris in 1909, she did not join the avant-garde outfit, instead, in 1911, forming her own company, which toured until her death in 1931. Pavlova and her company of about forty dancers made two tours to Australia: in 1926 and 1929. During her first tour she visited Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide, presenting about fifteen ballets and thirty-nine divertissements (short pieces, such as ‘The Dragonfly’ and ‘The Swan’, for which she was particularly renowned). On the first tour, Robert Helpmann was one of her Australian supernumeraries. On her second tour, she visited regional Queensland and Brisbane before progressing to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. She kept a small menagerie, which included swans, at her home in Hampstead, London.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2015

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Harold Cazneaux (age 48 in 1926)

Anna M. Pavlova (age 45 in 1926)

Subject professions

Performing arts

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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