lady audley (ladyaudley) wrote,
lady audley

romantic ballet

Emma Livry (September 24, 1842 – July 26, 1863) was one of the last ballerinas of the Romantic ballet era, and a protégée of Marie Taglioni.

Emma studied dancing while young and attended the Paris Opera School. She made her debut at age sixteen with the Paris Opera as the sylph in La Sylphide. Her talent brought her fame and she became a widely respected ballerina.

Marie Taglioni noticed her during one of her performances and immediately took a liking to the girl, becoming her mentor. Marie choreographed for Emma in the opera Le Papillon, a piece by Jacques Offenbach that was especially created just for Emma.

An opera critic at the time remarked, "She was so, ethereal, and diaphanous, an intangible artist imperative, an artist with ballon … Mlle. Livry had a ballon (ballet) which has never been equaled - she bounds and leaps as no one else could do. She skims over the ground, the water and the flowers, apparently without touching them. Shims like feather and falls like a snowflake."

Her budding career was cut short in November of 1862. During a rehearsal for the opera La Muette di Portici her ballet dress caught fire on a stage gaslight and she suffered horrible burns. She died eight months later and was interred in the Cimetière de Montmartre.

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