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Irene Alm

(b Milan, ?1755; d after 1838). Italian dancer, choreographer and composer. A pupil of Noverre, he danced at the Kärntnertortheater in Vienna in 1775 and presented his first choreography at the Teatro S Agostino in Genoa during Carnival 1776. Most of Clerico’s works were created for the opera houses in Venice, where he worked during the 1780s at S Samuele, S Benedetto and S Moisè, and later in his career at the Fenice, and in Milan, where from 1790 he graced the stage of La Scala for nearly 40 years. He also created ballets for opera houses in Turin, Rome, Brescia, Padua, Bologna, Parma and Florence, and returned to work in Vienna, 1798–1800. Clerico often danced in his own ballets with his brother Gaetano and sister Rosa (who in 1786 married the choreographer and dancer Lorenzo Panzieri). Their exceptional abilities as dancers, according to Ritorni, contributed in part to the success of Clerico’s ballets. Not only was he a renowned choreographer and dancer, but he also composed the music for many of his ballets. He was considered the heir to Angiolini, and an important precursor of Viganò. His enormous output totals nearly 80 ballets, many of which were restaged throughout Italy and in foreign theatres....

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Mary Jo Lodge

(b New York, NY, July 4, 1887; d Encino, CA Feb 29, 1944). American choreographer, director, and producer. He was a choreographer and dance director of Broadway musicals in the 1920s and 30s. He also directed several shows on Broadway before moving exclusively into choreographing early Hollywood film musicals. He began staging musical numbers on Broadway in 1926 with the musical Kitty’s Kisses. The long list of Broadway musicals he choreographed includes Good News (1927), George and Ira Gershwin’s Funny Face (1927), Sigmund Romberg’s The New Moon (1928), and The Ziegfeld Follies of 1931 and 1934. His first directing opportunity came with the stage musical Princess Charming in 1930, which, like The Ballyhoo of 1932, was one of a handful he also produced. He first worked as a dance director for film on Moonlight and Pretzels (1933), which was shot in New York. He then served as choreographer, dance director, or musical stager on a series of films for Warner Bros. and then MGM in California, most famously ...

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(b Montpellier, Aug 19, 1742; d Tours, Feb 14, 1806). French dancer, teacher and choreographer . He danced in Lyons in 1757 under Noverre, who described his pupil as a joyful and dramatically expressive dancer. Within two years Dauberval was ballet-master for the Turin opera house. In 1761 he made a successful début at the Paris Opéra in Rameau’s Zaïs. He performed under Noverre in Stuttgart, 1762–4, appeared at the Haymarket, London, in 1764 and returned in 1766 to the Opéra, where he was appointed assistant ballet-master in 1770. He danced in many revivals of works by Lully and Rameau, and in the premières of Dauvergne’s Polyxène (1763), Louis Granier’s Théonis (1767), P.-M. Berton and J. B. de La Borde’s Adèle de Ponthieu (1772) and Gossec’s Sabinus (2nd version; 1774). From 1781 to 1783 he shared the title of ballet-master with Maximilien Gardel; he was ousted as a result of political intrigues....

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Roland John Wiley

(Frédéric )

(b Stockholm, 1767; d Kiev, 7/Nov 19, 1837). French choreographer . After studying in Stockholm and Paris, he travelled widely; Swift traced his dances in operas at Stockholm (1787), Bordeaux (1790) and Paris (1791, 1793), but his most extensive engagements were in London (1796–1801, 1812–14) and St Petersburg (1801–12, 1816–30). As a choreographer at the King’s Theatre, Didelot was no doubt involved with opera – a repertory of continental masterpieces leavened by pasticcios and new works by resident composers. In Russia his work is traceable in state records, performance sources and personal accounts. Between 1806 and 1827 he created dances for 25 operas, mostly by French composers, including six by Boieldieu (who worked in St Petersburg, 1804–11), Spontini’s La vestale and Fernand Cortez and works by Grétry, Isouard, Catel, Rodolphe Kreutzer and Auber. Didelot also choreographed operas by Mozart and Winter and five operas by the russified Italian Catterino Cavos. Of special interest is his conversion of Boieldieu’s opera ...

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Rainer E. Lotz

(Winston )

(b Philadelphia, May 14, 1889; d New York, May 19, 1939). American dancer, choreographer, and impresario. He went to Ireland in 1903 as a member of a juvenile “piccaninny” group, then toured Europe with Belle Davis (1903–8); his dancing during this period may be seen in the film Die schöne Davis mit ihren drei Negern (1906). Thereafter he worked as an eccentric solo act, and from 1910 into the 1930s was featured as a step dancer in revues in London, Paris, and Berlin; he also toured South America in 1923. In 1925 he starred in La revue nègre, with music provided by Claude Hopkins’s Charleston Jazz Band. He then organized his own revue, Black People (1926), which toured Europe and North Africa with members of Sam Wooding’s band. He organized further revues in Berlin (1926) and New York (1927...

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Kate Van Winkle Keller

(b Paris, France, c1762; d Washington, DC, April 11, 1841). American dancing master, choreographer, and composer of dance music. He was born into a family named Landrin with close connections to the court of Louis XVI. He was a pupil of Maximilien Gardel (1741–87), and for six years he was dancing master for the Paris Opéra. He left Paris three days after the fall of the Bastille in 1789 and arrived in Philadelphia in mid-1790. He changed his name, placing advertisements for his dancing schools as Mr. De Duport. Chiefly a choreographer and teacher of social dancing, Duport blended amateur and professional dancing with theatrical standards of content and performance. He wrote music and created hornpipes and other solo dances for his students, as well as duos such as figured minuets, allemandes, and waltzes; group dances, including complex French contredanses, cotillions, and English country dances; and ballets for his classes to perform at recitals. A music copybook in Duport’s hand traces his creative career from ...

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Ivor Guest

(François )

(b Paris, July 25, 1828; d Courbevoie, July 16, 1887). French choreographer . Engaged as a dancer at the Paris Opéra in 1848, he eventually succeeded Lucien Petipa as principal male dancer, retaining that position until his death. From 1869 he was also premier maître de ballet. A highly competent rather than an inspired choreographer, he worked in the style of Joseph Mazilier and Arthur Saint-Léon, whom he had observed at work in his earlier days. Besides independent ballets, he produced a number of divertissement for operas including Gounod’s Polyeucte (1878) and Le tribut de Zamora (1881), Massenet’s Le roi de Lahore (1877) and Le Cid (1885), Thomas’ Françoise de Rimini (1882), Saint-Saëns’ Henry VIII (1883) and the revival at the Opéra of Aida (1880).

I. Guest: The Ballet of the Second Empire (London, 1974)...

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Ivor Guest

(b Marseilles, Dec 22, 1815; d Versailles, July 7, 1898). French choreographer, brother of Marius Petipa. He was one of the finest male dancers of his time, renowned for the nobility of his style. He made his début at the Paris Opéra in 1839, and in 1841 created his most celebrated role, Albrecht in Giselle. As well as independent works, he created the ballets for a number of operas. Specially important was his collaboration with Verdi in the Opéra’s offerings for the first and second Universal Exhibitions in Paris. For Les vêpres siciliennes (1855) he arranged a long ballet, ‘Les Quatre Saisons’, skilfully integrated into the action. Don Carlos (1867) contained an important ballet, ‘La Pérégrina’, with a theme of its own. Less successful was Petipa’s Venusberg Scene for the Paris production of Tannhäuser in 1860; the uproar the opera caused was one of the great scandals of operatic history, but the opposition was less a matter of musical taste than a chauvinistic outcry against a German composer and an objection to the placement of the obligatory ballet too early in the opera. Petipa also arranged a charming ballet for Thomas’ ...

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J.G. Prod’homme and Marian Smith

(b Paris, Sept 17, 1821; d Paris, Sept 2, 1870). French violinist, dancer, choreographer and composer. His real surname was Michel. He studied ballet with his father, a ballet-master at the royal theatre in Stuttgart, and studied the violin with Paganini and Mayseder. He made his début as a violinist in Stuttgart in 1834 and as a dancer in Munich in 1835, when he adopted the name Saint-Léon. In 1837–8 he studied ballet with François Decombe (known as Albert) at the Paris Opéra. From 1838 he toured Europe as a dancer and in 1843 he created the ballet La vivandiera ed il postiglione (music by Rolland) in Rome. He married the ballerina Fanny Cerrito (1817–1909) in 1845; they danced together frequently until their separation in 1851. Meanwhile he became famous as a choreographer. In the early 1850s he was premier maître de ballet at the Opéra. He appeared as choreographer, dancer and violinist in ...

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Maureen Needham

(b Milan, Nov 5, 1777; d Como, Feb 11, 1871). Italian dancer and choreographer. In 1794 he became first dancer at the Teatro dei Nobili, Pisa, where his father Carlo was ballet-master. After touring Italy, 1796–8, he went to Paris to study with J.-F. Coulon, making his début at the Opéra in La caravane (1799). He worked at the Royal Opera, Stockholm, in 1803–4, and at the Hoftheater, Vienna, in 1805, before undertaking an extended European tour. Taglioni’s importance lies mainly in his choreography for the premières, all at the Paris Opéra, of Auber’s Le dieu et la bayadère (1830) and Gustave III (1833), Meyerbeer’s Robert le diable (1831) and Les Huguenots (1836), and Halévy’s La Juive (1835). That for Robert, including the famous ‘Scène des nonnes’ in which 50 dancers dressed in white wafted through the ghostly cloister, made theatrical history: the first ...