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Madame Céleste

(1814—1882) actress and theatre manager


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(born Anastasie Céleste des Rousselles; b Marcilly-la-Campagne, 6 Aug. 1810; d Paris, 18 Feb. 1882)

French dancer. She trained at the Paris Opera Ballet School and danced briefly with the Paris Opera. She toured the US extensively in the 1820s and 1830s and was much admired, presented to President Andrew Jackson in 1836 and credited with being the first ballerina to perform La Sylphide in America. Her fame rested more on her mime than her classical technique—in 1837 she was rejected by the Paris Opera—and one of her most successful roles was in the melodrama The French Spy. In 1843 she began a new career as a theatre manager, first at the Theatre Royal in Liverpool and then at the Adelphi Theatre in London, which she co-managed with Benjamin Webster for fourteen years, presenting ballet burlesques. She subsequently managed the Lyceum Theatre in London. She made her farewell tour of the US in 1865–6 and retired from the stage in 1874 after appearing in The Green Bushes, another popular melodrama, in London.

Subjects: Theatre — Dance.


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