Dictionary of London Immigrants |||

1874-1884 - Connaught Square (Bayswater)

Dancer Marie Taglioni was born in Stockholm on 23 April 1804. Her grandfather Salvatore Taglioni was a Neapolitan ballet master. Her father Filippo followed in his footsteps. He migrated to Sweden where in 1803 he married Marie Karsten, the daughter of a tragedian. Marie’s infancy was spent between Vienna and Kassel and her adolescence in Paris. She became a dancing sensation. Taglioni was the toast of many writers: Victor Hugo dedicated a book to her, Théophile Gautier considered her a genius, and Thackeray commemorated her in Pendennis (she first danced in London in 1829). Chopin drew inspiration from her dancing. Her long skirt, the forerunner of the tutu, was named a taglioni’. In 1836, Alfred Bunn engaged her at the Italian Opera at a huge salary. In 1845 she was at Her Majesty’s Theatre with Benjamin Lumley and was première danseuse in the celebrated pas de quatre, which was first performed in England by command of Queen Victoria, followed in 1846 by the pas des déesses. She made her last appearance on 21 August 1847 and spent much of her time in Italy. From 1859 to 1870 she was at the Paris Opéra as a choreographer. Her finances declined because of the Franco-Prussian War and in 1874 she settled in London, at no. 6 Connaught Square, Bayswater, as a teacher. She died in April 1884.

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