Maria Taglioni: a dancing star

At her 1841 debut at Milan’s La Scala, Maria Taglioni (Stockholm, 1804-Marseilles, 1884) was thirty-seven years old and already a celebrity in the world of dance.

The daughter of choreographer Filippo Taglioni, she had been raised to love dance at the cost of impressive sacrifices, all to become a great ballerina. Maria had already triumphed at the Opéra in Paris, in one of her father’s works, “La Sylphide”, in 1832.

According to Giuseppe Barigazzi (“La Scala racconta”, Hoepli, Milan 2014), “Maria Taglioni arrived in Milan after a tour that had touched Saint Petersburg, Warsaw, and Vienna. Her success was extraordinary everywhere she went. In Warsaw, she hid from the crowd’s overwhelming enthusiasm in her hotel. In Milan she stayed at the Marino hotel, and after six days performed at La Scala in ‘La Gitana’, a ballet her father had created for her, in which she interpreted Bohemian and Spanish dances. After that she continued with ‘La Sylphide’, reaping such great success that one night La Scala’s orchestra moved to the street in front of the hotel Marino, to serenade the divine ballerina. Medals were coined for the occasion, and sold out in record time […] The police was busy keeping the public’s passion within reasonable limits.”

One of the craters on Venus has since been named after Maria Taglioni: the light of this étoile continues to shine.

Alfred Edward Chalon and Richard James Lane, "Maria Taglioni, Flora in 'Flore et Zéphire' by Charles Didelot", 1831, color lithography, Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Alfred Edward Chalon and Richard James Lane, "Maria Taglioni, Flora in 'Flore et Zéphire' by Charles Didelot", 1831, color lithography, Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Maria Taglioni, "La Sylphide", 1832

Maria Taglioni, "La Sylphide", 1832

Scuola Russa, "Maria Taglioni, La Sylphide", XIX secolo, Bakhrushin Theatrical Museum, Mosca

Russian School, "Maria Taglioni, La Sylphide", 19th century, Bakhrushin Theatrical Museum, Moscow

Alfred Edward Chalon e Richard James Lane, "Marie Taglioni, La Sylphide", litografia a colori - color lithography

Alfred Edward Chalon and Richard James Lane, "Marie Taglioni, La Sylphide", color lithography

Alfred Edward Chalon, "Maria Taglioni in 'La Fee aux Fleurs'"

Alfred Edward Chalon, "Maria Taglioni, 'La Fée aux Fleurs'"

"Carlotta Grisi, Maria Taglioni, Lucile Grahn e Fanny Cerrito in 'Pas de Quatre'", 1845, litografia

"Carlotta Grisi, Maria Taglioni, Lucile Grahn, and Fanny Cerrito in 'Pas de Quatre'", 1845, lithography

"Carlotta Grisi, Maria Taglioni, Lucile Grahn e Fanny Cerrito in 'Pas de Quatre'", 1845, litografia

"Carlotta Grisi, Maria Taglioni, Lucile Grahn, and Fanny Cerrito in 'Pas de Quatre'", 1845, lithography

Alfred Edward Chalon, "Maria Taglioni nel ruolo di Zoloë nell'opera-balletto 'Le Dieu et la Bayadère'" di Filippo Taglioni (musica di Daniel Auber)

Alfred Edward Chalon, "Maria Taglioni as Zoloë in the 'Le Dieu et la Bayadère' opera-ballet" by Filippo Taglioni (music by Daniel Auber)

"Maria Taglioni nel ruolo della 'Gitana'", nell'opera-balletto "La Gitana" di Filippo Taglioni, 1841

"Maria Taglioni as the gypsy" in the "La Gitana" opera-ballet by Filippo Taglioni, 1841

John Brandard, "Maria Taglioni", 1844

John Brandard, "Maria Taglioni", 1844

Alfred Edward Chalon, "Maria Taglioni nel ruolo della 'Silfide'", 1845, litografia a colori

Alfred Edward Chalon, "Maria Taglioni, La Sylphide", 1845, color lithography

Ary Scheffert, "Maria Taglioni", XIX sec., olio su tavola, Musée national du Château de Versailles

Ary Scheffert, "Maria Taglioni", 19th century, oil on table, Musée national du Château de Versailles

Josef Kriehuber, "Maria Taglioni", XIX sec., litografia - 19th century, lithography

Josef Kriehuber, "Maria Taglioni", 19th century, lithography

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