MARIA TAGLIONI (1804-1884), Italian ballet dancer, daughter of Filippo Taglioni (1777-1871), master of the ballet at Stockholm, Cassel, Vienna and Warsaw, was born at Stockholm on the 23rd of April 1804. She was trained by her father, who is said to have been pitilessly severe. It was to his care and her own special talent for dancing that she owed her success, for she possessed no remarkable personal attraction. Her first appearance was at Vienna on the 10th of June 1822, in a ballet of which her father was the author, La Reception d'une jeune nymphe a la tour de Terpsichore. Her success was immediate, and was repeated in the chief towns of Germany. On the 23rd of July 1827 she made her Paris debut at the Opera, in the Ballet de Sicilien, and aroused a furore of enthusiasm. Among her more remarkable performances were the dancing of the Tyrolienne in Guillaume Tell, of the pas de fascination in Meyerbeer's Robert le Diable, and in La Fille du Danube. At this period the ballet was animportant feature in opera, but with her retirement in 1847 the era of grand ballets may be said to have closed. In 1832 she married Comte Gilbert de Voisins, by whom she had two children. Losing her savings in speculation, she afterwards supported herself in London as a teacher of deportment, especially in connexion with the ceremony of presentation at court. During the last two years of her life she lived with her son at Marseilles, where she died on the 23rd of April 1884. Taglioni is frequently mentioned in the novels of Balzac; and Thackeray, in The Newcomes, says that the young men of that epoch "will never see anything so graceful as Taglioni in La Sylphide."
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