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Madam and the Dying Swan

The Dying Swan is a variation that’s been performed more than any other dance on all of the world’s greatest stages. Created for ballet’s first super star Anna Pavlova by choreographer Michel Fokine, Pavlova first danced The Dying Swan in 1907 at a gala held in the Hall of Noblemen in St Petersburg in aid of a charity for poor mothers and newborn babies.

The Dying Swan and Anna Pavlova would become linked forever-during her career she danced the solo over four thousand times. But the version she first danced before the First World War was to change and mutate away from the original which would have been lost forever had it not been notated by a young Dame Ninette de Valois.

The film “Madam and The Dying Swan” tells the story of the four dancers who have danced the original steps of The Dying Swan. Starting with Anna Pavlova, the film documents the origins of the Dying Swan, the life of Dame Ninette de Valois as recalled by friends and colleagues to her eventual passing on of the early steps to prima ballerina Marguerite Porter.

The film uses restored and unseen footage of de Valois teaching the original steps and movements of The Dying Swan to Porter before coming up to date, twenty six years later, when Porter decides the time is right to pass the steps on to the next generation- the Royal Ballet’s up and coming star Marianela Núñez.

For the website please click here

The Dying Swan Choreographed by Michel Fokine, by kind permission of The Fokine Estate.

The Producers wish to thank the following for their help and support with the making of this film
The Royal Ballet
The Royal Ballet School

Archive and historical footage and images courtesy of
British Pathe
Tony Palmer
The Royal Ballet School and The White Lodge Museum and Archives
Nobby Clark
Wayne Eagling

Narrated by
Samantha Bond

Director of Photography
Titus Ogilvy

Sound Recordist
Doug Martin

Original music composed and performed by
Massimo Nicolosi

Opening titles and graphics
Garry Waller

Edited by
James Coward
Charlotte Cameron-Vidler
Harry Monday

Online Editor and Colourist
Neal Davies

Sound Mixer
Richard Kondall

Post Production Supervisor
Pat Wintersgill

Sound Post Production
Creativity Media

Written by
Candida Brady

Produced and directed by
Candida Brady and Titus Ogilvy

Madam and The Dying Swan, copyright Blenheim TV Films Ltd 2013

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