But first: the next two giveaway winners:
Email me, ladies (stephc at 3hourspast dot com) and I’ll get your sample packs to you in the post!
The Pavlova Wrap Top & Skirt from Cake Patterns is named after a beloved Antipodean meringue and fruit dish. It’s a controversial issue Down Under, and tomorrow I want you all to tell me what’s the best way to make them. But first, I’d like to take a look at Anna Pavlova- the dessert’s ballerina namesake.
Anna Pavlova was born in St. Petersberg Russia in 1881 and died in 1931. Her performances enraptured crowds of people from Russia to Peru to Sydney and inspired countless people to also take up dance. It’s tough to come to grips with the star quality of legends who lived and died outside of film from the vantage point of 2013. I sifted through various writings about Anna and discovered this quote from her first choreographer:
“You must realize that your daintiness and fragility are your greatest assets. You should always do the kind of dancing which brings out your own rare qualities instead of trying to win praise by mere acrobatic tricks.”
This is interesting. I’m no scholar on the history of ballet (chime in if you are!), but I discovered that at the time ballet dancers were strong. Acrobatic. One article uses the word “meatball” to describe the characteristics of ballerinas at the time Anna began dancing. We take fragile, dainty ballerinas for granted, but not back then! How things change…
Anna took the advice of her choreographer. Rather than trying to imperfectly emulate “le mode,” Anna threw her passion for dance into ballet performances done her own way. Crowds adored her for it- the expression of her love of dance and of motion on stage, presented in her own individual manner.
Over the course of her career, Anna racked up 350,000 miles traveling the world. Without an airplane! This was also peculiar at the time, and set her apart from other performers. She’d have to be pretty adventurous and tough to handle that kind of touring.
No doubt weakened by her punishing work schedule, Anna succumbed to pleurisy at the age of 50. Tellingly, some sources say the doctors could have saved her but she resisted because the operation would leave her unable to dance. She lived and died for her art, inspiring unknown numbers of people through her passion.
She was wise, too:
“What exactly is success? For me it is to be found not in applause, but in the satisfaction of feeling that one is realizing one’s ideal. When, a small child rambling over there by the fir trees, I thought that success spelled happiness. I was wrong. Happiness is like a butterfly which appears and delights us for one brief moment, but soon flits away.”
Have you met Anna before? How do you express your individuality through your occupation?