|A gelatin silver print showing ballet dancer Andreas Pavley probably costumed for Bacchanale.
Andreas Pavley (1892-1931) studied Dalcroze eurythmics in Geneva before arriving in Chicago, where he met Serge Ourkrainsky. Together they founded the Pavley-Oukrainsky Ballet Company and School, a semi-detached arm of the Chicago Civic Opera. Acclaimed by contemporary critics as “the two most wonderful male dancers since Nijinsky”, they toured America and Canada during the 1920’s, but always with their base in Chicago. Helen Grenelle, Anna Louise Gumm, Ruth Page, Anna Ludmilla and Ruth Pryor were all among the principal women, as was Edna McCrae, who went on to become Chicago’s most influential dance teacher. Productions included Aztec Sacrifice, Danse Macabre, La Giaconda and Grecian Dance.
The economic crash of 1929 brought an end to the first era of opera and ballet in Chicago. Afraid that growing old would ruin his career and that he would no longer enjoy life once past his prime, Pavley committed suicide in 1931.
Further reading: Danse Macabre; The Life and Death of Andreas Pavley by Arthur Corey (1977).
Photographed by Moffett of Chicago in 1920.
Photographer identified and image dated in the negative.
Signed in ink by the sitter along the lower edge, near the lower left-hand corner.
The print, which is unmounted and not cut quite evenly, measures approx 9” by 7” (228 mm by 177 mm).
condition: There is an inch-long break in the surface of the print near the upper left-hand corner, where it has once been slightly bent. There is also a
small white void at the bottom of the drape hanging of Pavley's arm, which appears to be damage to the original negative rather than damage to the print.
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