Vienna Children's Ballet

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In the early 1800s Friedrich Horschelt's Children's Ballet was a very popular enterprise. It adapted existing full-length ballets, such as Louis-Antoine Duport's Aschenbrödel (Cinderella), to allow all the adult roles to be danced by children. However, an investigation by the Viennese Police in 1818 found that the boys and girls, who ranged in age from 8 to 19, were in danger of having their morals corrupted by being in Horschelt's company. This finding prompted the Empress Caroline Augusta to order the disbanding of the company, and by 1822 Horschelt had left Vienna to accept a post in Munich. In 1841 children's ballet in Vienna was revived when Josefine Maudry Weiss started an all-girls' company at the Theater in der Josefstadt. This troupe, known as the Danseuses Viennoises, toured not only Austria, but Germany, Italy, London (1845, 1846, and 1849), and Canada and the US (1846 and 1847) with great success. The company was disbanded in 1852 after the sudden death of Weiss.

Subjects: Dance.

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