Anna Pavlova Quotes

Anna Pavlova (1881-1931)

Anna Pavlova, in painting by John Lavery, 1911
Anna Pavlova, in painting by John Lavery, 1911. Imagno/Getty Images

Anna Pavlova was trained in classic ballet, and while she helped transform the classical ballet by her lighter, more natural style, she did not go outside the classic forms as did her contemporary, Isadore Duncan. Anna Pavlova is especially remembered for her portrayal of a swan -- in The Dying Swan and Swan Lake.

Selected Anna Pavlova Quotations

• The right to happiness is fundamental.

• When a small child, I thought that success spelled happiness.

I was wrong, happiness is like a butterfly which appears and delights us for one brief moment, but soon flits away.

• To follow without halt, one aim; there is the secret of success. And success? What is it? I do not find it in the applause of the theater. It lies rather in the satisfaction of accomplishment.

• What exactly is success? For me it is to be found not in applause, but in the satisfaction of feeling that one is realizing one's ideal.

• Master technique and then forget about it and be natural.

• As is the case in all branches of art, success depends in a very large measure upon individual initiative and exertion, and cannot be achieved except by dint of hard work.

• No one can arrive from being talented alone, work transforms talent into genius.

• God gives talent. Work transforms talent into genius.

• Although one may fail to find happiness in theatrical life, one never wishes to give it up after having once tasted its fruits.

• [Last words of Anna Pavlova] "Get my swan costume ready." Then "Play that last measure softly."

More About Anna Pavlova

About These Quotes

Quote collection assembled by Jone Johnson Lewis. Each quotation page in this collection and the entire collection © Jone Johnson Lewis.

This is an informal collection assembled over many years. I regret that I am not be able to provide the original source if it is not listed with the quote.