ensemble; ballet dress ensemble

Anna Pavlova (1881-1931) wore this costume designed by Ivan Bilibine for her first appearance in the Russian 'divertissement'. This took place on 12 July 1909 at a private party in the home of Mrs Potter Palmer in Carlton House Terrace. A week later, Pavlova and her partner Michel Mordkin performed the Russian Dance, again at a private party given by Lord and Lady Londesborough in the presence of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. Mordkin choreographed this spectacular pas de deux to Tchaikovsky's Danse Russe. The cream satin robe, which has scarlet satin under-sleeves, is appliqud with gold tissue in a stylised floral pattern, and heavily decorated with glass gems and artificial pearls. Pavlova bought a house in Golders Green in 1912 and settled in London permanently after the Russian Revolution.
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© Museum of London

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