Joseph Mazilier


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(orig. Giulio Mazarini; b Marseilles, 13 Mar. 1797 (some sources 1801); d Paris, 19 May 1868)

French dancer, choreographer, and ballet master. Choreographer of many important ballets of the Romantic era and the first dancer to perform James in La Sylphide. He made his debut in Bordeaux and from 1822 appeared at the Paris Théâtre de la Porte-St-Martin, where he created roles in many ballets by Coralli. In 1830 he joined the Paris Opera, where he became a leading character dancer. He created roles in F. Taglioni's La Sylphide (James, 1832) and La Fille du Danube (1836), Coralli's Le Diable boîteux (1836) and La Tarentule (1839), and Guerra's Les Mohicans (1837). But although he was an important dancer, it was his career as ballet master and choreographer that was of lasting significance. From 1839 to 1851 he was ballet master of the Paris Opera, where he made more than two dozen works. He spent a year with the Imperial Theatres in St Petersburg (1851–2) but returned to the Paris Opera in 1853 as premier maître de ballet. He retired in 1860, although he came out of retirement in 1867 to revive Le Corsaire. A list of his works includes La Gypsy (mus. F. Benoist and T. Marliani, 1839), Le Diable amoureux (mus. Benoist and H. Réber, 1840), Lady Henriette, ou la servante de Greenwich (mus. Flotow, Burgmüller, and Deldevez, 1844), Le Diable à quatre (mus. Adam, 1845), Paquita (mus. Deldevez, 1846), Griseldis, ou les cinq sens (mus. Adam, 1848), Vert-vert (mus. Deldevez and J. B. Tobeque (or Tolbeque), 1851), Jovita, ou les boucaniers (mus. T. Labarre, 1853), Le Corsaire (mus. Adam, 1856), and Marco Spada, ou la fille du bandit (mus. Auber, 1857).

Subjects: Dance.

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