[Ballet] Pavlova, Anna. (1881–1931) & Novikoff, Laurent. (1888–1956)
"Amarilla" - Stunning Signed Photograph
Hand-colored glossy Rotary Foulsham & Banfield of London postcard photograph signed by the great Russian dancers who are shown in a striking back-to-back pose. Unrelated message written to verso, dated 22 August 1913. In fine condition. 3.5 x 5.5 inches (8.9 x 14 cm.).
“Amarilla” was the first ballet created specifically for Pavlova and her company at the Palace Theatre in London, in June of 1912. Audiences found Pavlova’s sensuality both shocking and exhilarating, and the ballet stayed in her repertoire throughout her career. Music was by Glazunov, Drigo, and Dargomyshsky, and choreography was by Polish dancer Piotr Zajlich. Costumes and sets were designed by the already famous illustrator, Georges Barbier. The story is of the gypsy Inigo (danced by Novikoff) and his sister Amarilla, a poor fortuneteller who is betrayed by her aristocratic lover. It was a standard ballet plot that was elevated to fine art by the dramatic quality of Pavlova’s dancing, and her uncanny ability to thoroughly “become” the role she played.
Signed photographs of Novikoff are rare. In the early years of his career he alternated between dancing for Diaghilev (1909 and 1919-1921) and Pavlova (1911-1914 and 1921-1928) while serving as ballet master at the Chicago Opera from 1919-1933. Later in life he served as ballet master for the Metropolitan Opera in New York from 1941-1945.