16 August 2012 at 9.48am | Comment on this article
Iconic ballerina Anna Pavlova is the subject of a film season at BFI Southbank this month.
The series is part of Pavlova 2012, a celebration of the ballerina making London her home a century ago.
The Russian dancer embraced the relatively new medium of film during the first few decades of the 20th century and many of her solos were recorded. She even starred in a Hollywood feature film - The Dumb Girl of Portici - released in 1935.
Pavlova danced her way to fame with the Imperial Russian Ballet and Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, and was a favourite of legendary choreographer Marius Petipa. She danced to international acclaim and became the first ballerina to tour the globe. A hugely influential figure in dance and a key figure in the development of British ballet, among others Pavlova inspired Frederick Ashton. The choreographer saw her dance when he was a boy in Lima, Peru. He later described how “seeing her at that stage was the end of me. She injected me with her poison and from the end of that evening I wanted to dance.”
As part of the season, BFI audiences will be able to see footage of the ballerina dancing in The Immortal Swan, The Dying Swan and watch a profile from the TV series Omnibus. The season also features expert introductions from curator Jane Pritchard who will place Pavlova’s career in context with contemporary recordings of dance.
A screening of The Dying Swan on 18 August will be accompanied by a new score from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland composer Joby Talbot.
Screenings taking place during the Anna Pavlova on Screen Season:
- The Dumb Girl of Portici (1916) - Saturday 11 August 3:50pm
- Pavlova: A Woman for All Time (1983) - Wednesday 15 August 6pm / Saturday 25 August 3:20pm
- The Immortal Swan (1935) - Friday 17 August 6:30pm / Friday 31 August 6:20pm
- Preview + Q&A: Madam and the Dying Swan (2012) - Thursday 23 August 6:15pm
- Pavlova and Her Contemporaries on Screen - Friday 24 August 6pm
Tickets are available from BFI Southbank