Anna Pavlova (film)

Anna Pavlova
Directed by Emil Loteanu
Screenplay by Emil Loteanu
Story by Emil Loteanu
Music by Eugen Doga
Cinematography Yevgeny Guslinsky
Edited by
Distributed by Poseidon Film Distributors
Release dates
Running time
155 minutes
275 minutes (5 parts)
  • United Kingdom
  • Soviet Union
  • English
  • Russian

Anna Pavlova, also known as A Woman for All Time, is a 1983 biographical film directed by Emil Loteanu and starring Galina Belyayeva, James Fox and Sergey Shakurov. It depicts the life of the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova. It was a co-production between the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union. One of the producers of the film was the famed British director Michael Powell and featured American director Martin Scorsese in a cameo role.[1][2]


The biopic depicts Anna Pavlova's passion for art and her collaboration with the reformers of ballet including Michel Fokine, Vaslav Nijinsky and Sergei Diaghilev.

The film begins in the cold St. Petersburg with a scene where she as a young girl observes through a window young dancers practicing. Although she catches a cold Anna decides that she does not merely want to be a dancer but that she wants to be one of the best.

It is shown how the classical master dancer and ballet teacher Marius Petipa helps her on to the path to glory and her rise in the imperial Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg. Here she meets the young choreographer Mikhail Fokine with whom she rehearses The Dying Swan – the wold-famous solo.

In 1909 Sergei Diaghilev founds the Ballets Russes in Paris for which he recruits the best Russian dancers and choreographers including Anna Pavlova. But after a short time she decides to move to London. Here she also celebrates major success and her triumph is world-wide; for example she performs in the US, Mexico and Venezuela. Always present is Victor Dandré – her manager, companion and husband.

Her biggest wish to once again to perform at her native Mariinsky Theatre remained unfulfilled. Anna Pavlova died at the age of 49 in the year 1931 during her farewell tour in The Hague from pneumonia.


Martin Scorsese, a great admirer of Michael Powell's films, originally convinced Robert De Niro to play the American impresario Sol Hurok[3] [4] [5] and Jack Nicholson to portray Pavlova's husband and manager, Victor Dandré.[6][7] The casting was rejected by the Russian Ministry of Culture, as The Deer Hunter in which De Niro acted was conceived as anti-Communist, and Nicholson had made disparaging remarks about the Soviet Union in interviews. Nicholson's role was eventually played by James Fox and De Niro's by John Murray, the brother of Bill Murray.

The ensemble of the Leningrad Kirov Ballet danced the original choreography, and in original decor and most of Pavlova's repertoire is performed.

There were tensions at Mosfilm during editing of the film due to its almost three hour length. The contract stated that Loteanu had control over the English version, yet the film was shortened dramatically. Loteanu stated "Had I known at the outset that the contract would be broken, I would not have made the film at all."[8]

The TV version of the film consists of five parts: "Rossi Street", "Undying Swan", "Tulips and Loneliness", "Dreams of Russia" and "Touching the Sunset." The film was first released in theaters in two series in 1983 and in 1986 came out the televariant out of five series.

Main cast


  1. "Anna Pavlova (1983–) Full Cast & Crew". IMDB.
  2. "BFI | Film & TV Database | PAVLOVA - A WOMAN FOR ALL TIME (1983)". 2009-04-16. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  3. Mikhail Kazakov. "Сошедшие с экрана. Воспоминания Михаила Казакова" (in Russian). Isskustvo Kino. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  4. "Как Роберта де Ниро прислали сыграть эпизодическую роль в фильме молдавского режиссера Эмиля Лотяну" (in Russian). Komsomolskaya Pravda. 2014-07-24. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  5. Evening Urgant. "Robert De Niro interviewed at the Evening Urgant" (in Russian). YouTube. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  6. "Лебединые песни – Как балет превратился в триллер" (in Russian). Woman Hit. 2011-02-16. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  7. "Эмиль Лотяну и Роберт Де Ниро - титаны мирового кино" (in Russian). Moldovenii. 2016-04-22. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  8. Richard Owen (1985-03-07). "Clutural detente that ended in discord". The Powell & Pressburger Pages. Retrieved 22 September 2016.

External links

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