Blogging Ballet: Marie Taglioni (1804-1884)

Marie Taglioni was the first of the great ballerinas in the history of the art. Her father Filippo Taglioni was a famous Italian teacher and choreographer of the time which contributed to her success. Filippo would make his daughter work incredibly hard-often beyond the brink of exhaustion-but the pair became quite a team authoring their places in history.

Marie danced during the Romantic Era and it was actually her part in La Sylphide (created for her by her father) that featured the long, white tutus which became a signature of that time period. Prior to the Romantic ballets, ballerinas were also suspended in the air to create the illusion of dancing on the tips of one’s toes. Marie abandoned this “trick” entirely and created reinforced ballet slippers which allowed her to actually balance on her toes. And she was not done being the trailblazer for her time. Taglioni’s style-a graceful, smooth technique-made her an instant sensation and paved the way that ballet is performed today.

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