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Anna Pavlova - Victoria Street, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 29.797 W 000° 08.550
30U E 698343 N 5708924
Quick Description: This statue is of the ballerina Anna Pavlova and it sits on top of the Victoria Palace theatre in the West End of London.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 2/26/2012 4:54:58 AM
Waymark Code: WMDV8J
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 2

Long Description:
The statue sits atop the Victoria Theatre and shines in the bright sunshine and it is that shining that draws ones gaze towards it. It is difficult to gauge the height of the statue from ground level but it is estimated to be about twice life size. Likewise, it is difficult to ascertain what material the statue is made from but a safe guess would be bronze. The statue is gilded, that is for sure.

The statue shows Pavlova in a tutu in, what I am advised, is the arabesque pose. To the uninitiated, like myself, she is shown standing on the toes of her right foot with her left leg extended backwards to the horizontal position with the foot extended. Her arms and the fingers are fully extended and her head is turned to the right and is looking up to her right hand.

Some information about how the statue came to be here is given in the theatre's website. It says:
"From 1911, the year after its rebuilding to its present design by Frank Matcham, the Victoria Palace had a gilded statue of prima ballerina Anna Pavlova poised above it. This was owner Alfred Butt's homage to the dancer he had spectacularly introduced to London.

The tribute was not appreciated by the superstitious ballerina, who would never look at her image as she passed the theatre, drawing the blinds in her car. The original statue was taken down for safety reasons in 1939 before the blitz and has completely disappeared. It is not known whether it is in someone's garden or was turned to wartime military use, such as bullets.

The Victoria Palace moved into the new millennium with an adventurous building programme; enlarging the Foyer, WC facilities and increasing the dressing room space, whilst maintaining all the feel and character of a historic building.

In 2006, a replica of the original statue of Pavlova was reinstated to its original place above the cupola of the Victoria Palace and her gold-leafed figure once again gleams above us."

Source: (visit link)

Further information, plus a brief biography of Pavlova can be found here:
"Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, who died in 1931, appeared on stage at the newly opened Victoria Palace in 1911 and the theatres original owner, Alfred Butt, erected a statue in homage to her on the roof.

Anna Pavlova would never look at the original when she passed by, as she was quite superstitious about it.

However, it was removed in 1939 to save it from the blitz, and promptly disappeared.

In June 2006, a replica statue created by Harry Franchetti was winched aloft, restoring Pavlova to her rightful place.

The statue, which sees Pavlova in a classical tutu in the arabesque position, was designed from studies of a photograph of the original statue. What happened to the original, however, remains a mystery. We assume either she was melted down and became part of the war effort or shes still in somebodys garden, said Waley-Cohen.

The ballerina was born in St Petersburg in 1881 and attended the Imperial Ballet School at the Mariinsky theatre, where her tutor was Marius Petipa. After becoming the Mariinskys principal ballerina she toured the world, setting up home in London where she established a dance school at Ivy House. Renowned throughout the world, Pavlovas name also became known in the culinary world after an antipodean chef created a meringue pudding to celebrate a visit by the dancer. The exact origin of the dessert is disputed however, with both Australia and New Zealand claiming credit."

Source: (visit link)
URL of the statue: [Web Link]

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