(orig. Maria Brambilla; b Milan, 16 Jan. 1830; d Carate Lario, 4 Jun. 1916)
Italian dancer. She studied with Blasis at the school of La Scala, Milan, from c.1837 becoming one of his special group of ‘Pleiades’. She made her debut at La Scala in 1839 and was precociously appointed prima ballerina assoluta in 1843, in the same year dancing the first Giselle there. A lively dancer (fuoco signifies fire and passion in Italian), she acquired something of a cult following, though she was renowned more for her impressive technique than her acting ability. In 1846 she created one of the roles in F. Taglioni's staging of Perrot's Pas de quatre. Between 1846 and 1850 she danced various seasons at the Paris Opera where she was known as La Pointue due to her brilliance on pointe; she appeared in London in 1847 and 1848, and during the last decade of her career divided her time between Italy, France, and Spain. She retired in the late 1850s.