At the beginning of 1918 the theatre had three excellent soloists: with Anna Gaszewska, Maria Pawińska, Waleria Gnatowska. Sudden and unexpected death of the best of them, prima ballerina Anna Gaszewska-Chojnacki (born in Warsaw in July 1883, died suddenly 22 February 1918), at the age of just 34 years, depriving the Warsaw Theater stage its most artistic individuality, a popular dancer and valued not only for talent but also for the charm and beauty of unprecedented “with exceptionally beautiful eyes and beautiful construction of the legs” (Paul Owerłło, From beyond the platform in 1936). From the beginning of her career Gaszewska belonged to the corps de ballet of the Grand Theater, for a few years she was its prima ballerina. She performed with great success on the international stage in Europe and America, danced in a team of Anna Pavlov. The greatest achievements for Gaszewska included roles in the ballets: Swan Lake, Coppelia, Pan Twardowski (in the old version of music from Adolf Sonnenfelda), Katarzyna daughter of the bandit, Marriage of the Fathers and many others. In the final years of her life “talent [of Anna Gaszewska] developed nice and luxuriantly. Continuing the work of perhaps a bit too strenuous (Ms. Gaszewska created major roles in all the operas) maintained ballet repertoire [...] She has maintained an immaculate style of dance, she has maintained a robust line of beauty and aesthetics to seek the purity of the movement” (Adolf Starkman, from: J. Czempiński, The Polish Theatres in Warsaw 1915 – 1917).


After 1918 the stage was less then 26-year-old Maria Pawińska (born. 2 February 1891, died. 2 December 1968), which “exceptionally successfully he is heralding [jący] oneself for the foreseeable future talent [...] at the strenuous work – how reviewers expected – undoubtedly will put the artist in the collection of first-rate stars” (A. Starkman, jw.). She got married and she has already rarely appeared in the twentieth years. Similarly, the fate negotiated by Waleria Gnatowska (born 14 April 1883), which in the years 1918 - 20 showed up yet in several roles: Princess in the ballet Cleopatra, Zabeidy in Scheherazade and others. Soon, and she disappeared from the scene.


Amongst the corps de ballet of the Grand Theater –which in the year 1923 consisted of 24 dancers and 46 dancers – came out on indisputably the top one spots two young soloists: Halina Szmolcówna (born 1892, died 28 September 1939) and Irena Szymańska (born 28 August 1899 in Warsaw).


  • Mamontowicz-Łojek, Bożena. Terpsychora i lekkie muzy taniec widowiskowy w Polsce w okresie międzywojennym (1918-1939), Polski Wydawmn. Muzyczne [Krakow], 1972, S. 9-10.