Marie Taglioni

Italian ballet dancer (1804-1884)

Marie Taglioni (1804–1884) was a ballerina. She was born in Stockholm, Sweden on 23 April 1804. Her father was the choreographer Filippo Taglioni. He created the seminal romantic ballet La Sylphide to showcase her talents.

Marie Taglioni
Taglioni in Zephire, 1831
Born23 April 1804
Stockholm, Sweden
Died24 April 1884
Marseilles, France
ParentFilippo Taglioni

She was the first ballerina to dance en pointe for the sake of artistry rather than spectacle. She created a scandal when she shortened her ballet skirts to display her footwork.

She danced mostly in London at Her Majesty's Theatre and in Paris at the Opéra. In 1827, she began a three-year stint with the Imperial Ballet in St Petersburg. She danced in Pas de Quatre with Carlotta Grisi, Lucille Grahn, and Fanny Cerrito in July 1845. She retired in 1847 and lived in Venice, Italy.

She was the guiding spirit behind the reorganization of the Paris Opéra Ballet. In later life, she taught social dances to children and society ladies. She also took a limited number of ballet pupils. Johann Strauss II composed the Marie Taglioni Polka, Op. 173 in her honour. She died in Marseilles on 24 April 1884.