Carlotta Zambelli


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(b Milan, 4 Nov. 1875; d Milan, 28 Jan. 1968)

Italian dancer and teacher. She studied at the La Scala Ballet School, a pupil of Adelaide Viganò and Cesare Coppini, from 1884; further studies at the Paris Opera Ballet School with Rosita Mauri. She made her debut at the Paris Opera in 1894 and was promoted to étoile in 1898. She caused a sensation in 1896 when she executed fifteen fouetté turns—never seen before in Paris—in a divertissement from the opera La Favorita. She was the reigning ballerina of the Paris Opera from 1898 to her retirement in 1930. She created leading roles in Staats's Namouna (1908), Javotte (1909), España (1911), Sylvia (1919), Taglioni chez Musette (1920), and Cydalise et le chèvre-pied (1923), and in Nijinska's Impressions de music-hall (1927). She was a guest ballerina with the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg in 1901, where she danced Coppélia, Paquita, and her first Giselle. She toured extensively, performing for the troops in the First World War. Following her retirement from the stage she became a senior teacher at the Paris Opera Ballet School, where she remained until 1955.

Subjects: Dance.

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