Bonfanti, Marietta (1847–1921)

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Bonfanti, Marietta (1847–1921)

Italian ballerina. Name variations: Maria and Marie. Born in Italy in 1847; died in New York, New York, on January 25, 1921; studied with Carlo Blasis, and at the ballet school of Teatro all Scala, Milan; married George Hoffmann (an American businessman).

Marietta Bonfanti made her American debut in The Black Crook, often called the first musical comedy, at Niblo's Garden, New York, in 1866. Three years later, she went on tour throughout the U.S. She was prima ballerina of the Milan Italian Grand Opera (1884) and the Metropolitan Opera in New York (1885–86). Following several U.S.-European tours from 1888 to 1894, Bonfanti opened a ballet school in New York. Ruth St. Denis was one of her pupils.

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