Forget Pavarotti, let's do Pavlova!
Reader Susan Hood offers someone from our very own discipline as a possible model for a dance ambassador:
In the last century, there were many "household names" in the dance world, but the only one who crossed between the "serious" and "popular" was Anna Pavlova.
What became known as the "Pavlova Gavotte" was danced to the tune some of us know as "Glow Worm." In a yellow, faux-Regency costume and bonnet (if I've got the era right--18th century) and low heels, Pavlova and her various partners in this duet dazzled audiences. Their movements were photographed in sequence, analyzed, and taught by mainstream magazines.
Pavlova was a classical ballerina at heart, yet was keenly interested in and aware of classical dance forms of other cultures.
Yet she was a populist for dance in many forms (though jazz was probably beyond her aesthetic reaches). In an age when Irene and Vernon Castle began to popularize social dances for concert hall audiences, Pavlova knew what she could do as the world's leading dancer to engage a vast audience.
Apollinaire responds: Susan, wow this is fantastic history. Thanks so much for writing in.
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