Jean Coralli


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(orig. Giovanni Coralli Peracini; b Paris, 15 Jan. 1779; d Paris, 1 May 1854)

Italian-French dancer and choreographer. Best known as the co-choreographer of Giselle. He studied at the Paris Opera Ballet School and made his debut as a dancer there in 1802. As a choreographer he made early work for Vienna, Milan, Lisbon, and Marseilles, and was ballet master of the Théâtre de la Porte-Saint-Martin (1825–9). But he is best remembered for his work at the Paris Opera where he went as ballet master in 1831 (remaining until 1850). A list of his ballets there includes L'Orgie (mus. M. E. Carafa, 1831), La Tempête, ou L'île des génies (mus. Schneitzhoeffer, 1834), Le Diable boîteux (mus. C. Gide, 1836), La Chatte métamorphosée en femme (mus. A. de Montfort, 1837), La Tarentule (mus. Gide, 1839), Giselle (in collaboration with Perrot, mus. Adam, 1841), La Péri (mus. Burgmüller, 1843), Eucharis (mus. E. Deldevez, 1844), and Ozai, ou L'Insulaire (mus. Gide, 1847). As one of the most famous choreographers of the Romantic era, he created four ballets for Fanny Elssler and one for Carlotta Grisi. His enduring legacy, Giselle, was not typical of his work. He preferred the spectacle of more exotic subject-matter and was praised for his ability to create magical stage effects. It is however his choreography for the Wilis in Act II, with its air of poetic mystery, which remains one of the most resonant images of Romantic ballet.

Subjects: Dance.

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