Anna Pavlova as Flora in “The Awakening of Flora” (ca. 1900)
On this date, the 23rd September [O.S. 10th September] 1900, the 19 year old Anna Pavlova made her début as Flora, her first principal role in her professional career. The previous season, Pavlova had débuted in the role of Eos in the same ballet, but for the 1900-01 season, Petipa moved her up to the title role. The young ballerina was very nervous and was having trouble with her technique; the role of Flora proved to be a real technical challenge for her since it had been created by the virtuosa Matilda Kschessinska. Nevertheless, in the words of her biographer Keith Money, “Pavlova had zephyr freshness that could bring Flora alive as some enchanting goddess of the antique world, and her delicate grace was so appropriate to the role that Petipa cannot have had any qualms about his decision.” Pavlova’s début as Flora was a huge success; the critic Bezobrazov described her as “light and graceful” and the role became one of her favourites.
In 1914, Pavlova utilised Drigo’s score to create a 30-minute abridgement of the full-length ballet for her company that was choreographed by Ivan Clustine. Pavlova’s staging of “The Awakening of Flora” enjoyed a very successful première in London on the 12th October 1914 and among those who attended the performance was Queen Alexandra of Denmark, Queen consort of the United Kingdom and wife of Edward VII.
#Ballet #MariusPetipa #BalletMaster #TheMariusPetipaSociety #Petipa200 #Petipabicentenary #TheAwakeningofFlora #RiccardoDrigo #Flora #AnnaPavlova #ImperialBallet #ImperialMariinskyTheatre #SaintPetersburg