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Friday, December 20, 2013

Style Inspiration: Anna Pavlova


I don't own any tulle skirts, but I'm not opposed to the idea and while one would be hard-pressed to find a "ballet" inspired look in my wardrobe, I like many other girls have a soft spot for ballet. I danced as a child, but was only in pointe shoes for a year before quitting, but seeing the Nutcracker or another ballet was nearly an annual tradition with my family. While I might be quite removed from the ballet scene, it's still a point of inspiration the same way vintage movies and magazines are. Who can resist the dreamy visuals?
Anyway, all that to say that today's style inspiration is Anna Pavlova. She was a Russian prima ballerina in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. While she danced with the infamous Ballet Russes under Sergei Diaghilev, she is best remembered for her creation of The Dying Swan with her own company. Some footage remains of her dancing and her imagery and choreography is quite haunting, but perhaps what modern fans admire so much in Pavolva is the fairytale-like aspect of her own life. She was inspired to dance after viewing a ballet with her mother as a child, but her body type of highly arched feet, long limbs, and slimmer frame wasn't the ideal ballet body of the day. Her first application to the Imperial Ballet School was declined and when she was accepted her fellow classmates taunted her with cruel nicknames. Still, she practiced hard and learned to focus on her unique assets and even invented the modern pointe shoes to support her curved feet. And so it was the same young girl who was called "the little savage" by her classmates who later had her own legion of fans calling themselves "the Pavlovatzi." It's the sort of inspiring story we all like to hear--a daughter of a laundress who despite not having the ideal body for a very physical career managed to rise to fame and is remembered as one of the finest classical ballet dancers to have lived. It's a story we love to hear, that with hard work and focusing on what makes us different we can also find success when we follow our dreams.
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