Anna Pavlova (1881 –1931) Regarded as one of the finest classical ballet dancers in history as a principal artist of the Imperial Russian Ballet and the Ballets Russes of Sergei Diaghilev. Later she toured the world with her own company. Here she wears a Russian costume.
Anna Pavlova - In 1931 she contracted pleurisy. Doctors could have saved her life with an operation that would have damaged her ribs and left her unable to perform. Pavlova chose to die rather than give up dancing. As she lay dying she is reported to have opened her eyes, raised her hand and uttered these last words: "Get my swan costume ready."
16 Famous Dancers You Need to Know: Anna Pavlova (1881-1931) A famous Russian ballet dancer, Anna Pavlova is best known for changing the ideals for ballet dancers, as she was small and thin, not the preferred body of a ballerina during her time. She is also credited for creating the modern pointe shoe.