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Meet The Artists

Biography

Filippo Taglioni

Romantic era ballet / choreography

(1777-1871)

Filippo Taglioni is among the dance artists most closely associated with Romanticism, a movement that valued emotion, imagination, intuition and individualism. Romanticism developed as many 19th century European artists rebelled against the rationalism that defined the preceding era.

Originally from Italy, Taglioni established himself as a dancer and choreographer on the stages of Europe before he also became a ballet master. His star pupil was his daughter, Marie Taglioni, who epitomized the ethereal Romantic ballerina.

Taglioni's most famous choreographic work is La Sylphide (1832). The ballet tells the story of a young Scottish farmer, James, who falls in love with a sylph on his wedding day and loses his chances for happiness when she dies. With its supernatural characters, long white tutus and tragic love story, La Sylphide is generally considered to be the quintessential Romantic ballet.

Learn more:

Garafola, Lynn, ed. Rethinking the Sylph: New Perspectives on the Romantic Ballet. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1997.

Guest, Ivor. The Romantic Ballet in Paris. 2nd ed. London: Dance Books, 1980.