Maria Taglioni, 1804–84, Italian ballerina, b. Stockholm. Taglioni is considered the first and foremost ballerina of the romantic period. She made her debut in Vienna in 1822 in a ballet created for her by her father, the Italian choreographer Filippo Taglioni. Although she danced with the Paris Opéra from 1827, she did not achieve success until 1832, when she interpreted the title role of her father's new work, La Sylphide, which all Europe acclaimed. Taglioni's ethereal style and high elevations and leaps greatly influenced the development of ballet. She danced with the St. Petersburg Imperial Theatre from 1837 through 1839. Having retired in 1848, she was forced by bankruptcy to teach dance in Paris and London in her last years.
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