Teresa Vestris


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(b Florence, 1726; d Paris, 18 Jan. 1808)

Italian dancer. Sister of Angiolo and Gaetano Vestris. She studied in Naples and made her debut in Palermo. While performing in Vienna she became the mistress of Prince Esterhazy, a liaison which prompted a jealous Empress Maria Theresa to order the dancer's immediate transfer to Dresden. From there she went to Florence before settling in Paris in 1746. Socially well-connected, she was able to secure positions at the Paris Opera for her brothers Angiolo and Gaetano; in 1751 she made her debut at the Paris Opera. Frequently embroiled in intrigues and plots, she left the Paris Opera in 1754 with her brothers and went to Berlin. However, a year later she was back. Dubbed ‘the Italian Beauty’, Vestris often danced with her brother Gaetano and was particularly acclaimed in Lully's Alceste and Amadis. She continued as a soloist until 1766.

Subjects: Dance.

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