The Dying Swan, after a poem by Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson. Inspired by swans that she had seen in public parks, Anna Pavlova worked with choreographer Michel Fokine, who had read the poem, to create the famous 1905 solo ballet dance which is now closely associated with this music. According to tradition, the swan in Pavlova's dance is badly injured and dying. However, Maya Plisetskaya re-interpreted the swan simply as elderly and stubbornly resisting the effects of aging; much like herself (she performed The Swan at a gala on her 70th birthday).
Several figure skaters have also performed to this music in choreography inspired by the original ballet. It was a signature piece of Charlotte Oelschlagel, Sonja Henie, and the pair team of Ludmila Belousova and Oleg Protopopov. Versions have also been performed by Katherine Healy, Oksana Baiul and Johnny Weir.
The Dying Swan is also the name of a film produced in 1917 by the Russian director Evgenii Bauer. In The Dying Swan, "an obsessed artist tries to capture death in his painting of a melancholy ballerina; when she is suddenly transformed by love, he strangles her in order to finish his masterpiece." (Film History: an Introduction, by Kristin Thompson and David Bordwell, 2nd edition)
Birds on the Wing ; 'The Dying Swan' Has Only Ever Been Taught to a Handful of Ballerinas. Now, One of the Initiated Is Passing on Her Secrets to the Next Generation - as Sue Gaisford Watches
May 23, 2007; In a vast mirrored room at the Royal Opera House, the youngest of the Royal Ballet's principals, Marianela Nuez, is being worked...