Anna Pavlova's Ballet dress: 20th century

Leon Bakst

Anna Pavlova's Ballet dress: 20th century
3 0 c m
40cm
actual image size: 29cm x 22cm

Full image caption

This white net tutu sewn with sequins and trimmed with goose feathers was worn by Pavlova in her most famous role. First performed in 1907, The Swan was 'a landmark in ballet history'. Its innovation lay in the way Pavlova and her choreographer, Michel Fokine, created a mood of deep emotion. The intensity of The Swan, also known as The Dying Swan, made it a great favourite with audiences. Pavlova danced it many times in London during the 1920s.
The costume consists of a cream silk bodice decorated with a green glass gems, goose feather 'wings' and shoulder straps and a cotton net skirt sewn with sequins. It was worn with a diamanté headdress of green glass gems, trimmed with feathers.

A dancer who worked with Pavlova recalled how she would have the Swan tutu remade by her wardrobe mistresss, Madame Manya, before each new run of performances. It is not know exactly when this tutu dates from.

© Museum of London

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