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Mascot Moskovina

Harmony Bench, Author

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Introducing Mascot

Mascot Moskovina, also known as Mascot Vesely, performed with the "Incomparable" Anna Pavlova in her North American tour of 1915 and for part of her South American tour in 1917. Unfortunately, due to political alliances shaped by World War I, Mascot and her then-husband, whom she describes as a "Bohemian" and an "Austrian subject," were not able to travel throughout South America as planned. They stayed behind in Buenos Aires to wait out the War while the Company continued on. Abandoned by Pavlova and eventually by her husband, Mascot nevertheless cobbled together work for herself, banding together with other performing artists until she was finally able to return to New York on Dec. 26, 1919 to the daughter she had left in her mother's care.

This website presents what remains of the correspondence between Mascot and her friend, Billie Morton, and Morton's daughter Nondas. It appears that they met while Pavlova's company performed in Chicago in March of 1915. Digital copies of these letters were provided by The Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute at The Ohio State University. A few programs made available through the New York Public Library's Digital Gallery are also embedded here, and they show that Mascot is one of many near-anonymous dancers that have collectively shaped the course of ballet history without the fame or glory of the stars who employed them.

This project is part of a larger attempt to utilize digital tools to represent dance history, making archival holdings more broadly available and opening up new avenues for dance research.
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