The extent of vaudeville’s power and cultural reach can be attested to by the fact that the greatest names in every performing arts field were booked for its stages: Sarah Bernhardt from the legitimate theatre, Enrico Caruso from the opera, and Pavlova from the ballet. Born today in 1881, Anna Pavlova was a prima ballerina with the Imperial Russian Ballet and the Ballet Russes (under Diaghilev), before forming her own company in 1910. Her many tours brought her several times to the U.S. , where she performed at the biggest of big time theatres in New York, the Palace and the Hippodrome. She died of pneumonia in 1931.
And now, here she is, in a segment from her signature solo ballet, The Dying Swan:
To find out more about the history of vaudeville, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.