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Anna Pavlova, Russian ballerina. While touring in The Hague, Pavlova was told that she had pneumonia and required an operation. She was also told that she would never be able to dance again if she went ahead with it. She refused to have the surgery, saying "If I can't dance then I'd rather be dead." She died of pleurisy, three weeks short of her 50th birthday. She was holding her costume from The Dying Swan when she spoke her last words, "Play the last measure very softly."

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16 Famous Dancers You Need to Know: Anna Pavlova (1881-1931)

Anna Pavlova arriving in The Hague in 1927

Vaslav Nijinsky & Anna Pavlova. . ✯ Ballet beautie, sur les pointes ! ✯

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Photographic postcard of Anna Pavlova as the Princess Aspicia in the Petipa/Pugni The Pharaoh's Daughter, Saint Petersburg, c. 1910

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Anna Pavlova: Anna Pavlova

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Anna Pavlova - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia