WHO WERE THE FIRST DANCERS TO PERFORM ON STAGE? AND WHY ARE THEY SO IMPOSSIBLE TO FORGET? REDMILK RECALLS THE LIFE OF THE MOST FAMOUS DANCERS EVER.
From the early 1900s so many talented dancers, one after the other, offered various interpretations of classic ballet. At the beginning of the 20th century Anna Pavlova (1881-1931) became one of the most famous dancers in the world, especially popular for her performance of “The Dying Swan” choreographed for her by Michel Fokine. It seems that she had very delicate feet, so she had to reinforce her shoes by adding a piece of leather on the sole to get more support. These measures were considered a little unfair, so Pavlova used to touch up all her photos as not to highlight her pointed shoes.
Martha Graham (1894-1991) is considered one of the mothers of modern dance: she was the first dancer to perform at the White House and she choreographed over 150 works. She created new dance techniques, using specific body movements, such as the contraction, the release and the spiral. The French-born Isadora Duncan (1878-1927) instead contributed to the birth of modern dance.
Josephine Baker (1906-1975), the American dancer based in France, was instead the first African-American to go down in history for her sensuous performances, such as the famous dance at the Folies Bergère with a skirt entirely made of bananas.
Jennie Lee, however, was the first American burlesque dancer, as well as a real pin-up model. During her career she appeared on numerous magazine covers like Stare in 1954 and Risk in 1957.
We cannot but mention Carla Fracci, born in 1936 in Milan. She became the first dancer at the Scala Theatre in Milan, and started working at foreign companies, such as the London Festival Ballet, the Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet, the Stuttgart Ballet and the Royal Swedish Ballet. In 1967 she became a dancer of the American Ballet Theatre, one of the leading ballet companies based in New York.