Marie Taglioni, the Swedish ballerina

In July of 1847, Augusta and her mother visited the opera in Berlin.

Berlin, 3 July 1847

After we had left Kroll’s garden, we went to the Opera where we saw the best arranged ballet I have ever seen, and where we had the opportunity to admire Madame Taglioni’s enchanting pas.

So what ballet did they see, and who was Madame Taglioni? After a lot of googling, I still can’t find what performance they saw.

But Madame Taglioni was a super star.

Marie Taglioni was Swedish, born in Stockholm in 1804. Her father was a famous dancer and choreographer, and he was also her teacher. Marie and her father left Sweden for Vienna in 1818 and she had her first performance in 1822.

Marie Taglioni’s foot

In the early 1800s, ballerinas started to dance on their toes. Marie Taglioni was the first ballerina to dance a full-length ballet en pointe. However, at this time, there were no pointe shoes. There are anecdotes about Marie darning the front of her ballet slippers so that they would provide more support.

Her most famous role was in La Sylphide in 1832. She was soon as famous as her Swedish contemporary singer, Jenny Lind. Colored prints and etchings of her in various roles were in high demand.

How exciting it must have been for Augusta to see Marie Taglioni at the Royal Opera in Berlin in 1847. Marie Taglioni was at the top of career – she retired later that year.

Portrait of Marie Taglioni with lapdog. 1842. Edwin Dalton Smith (U.K., 1800-1866)

Read more about Marie Taglioni’s life and about the history of Romantic Ballet at the blogs and links below. It’s a window to the past:


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