Fanny Elssler dancing the cracovienne
NamesC. G. (Artist)
Jerome Robbins Dance Division original artwork
Dates / OriginDate Created: 1839 (Questionable)
Library locationsJerome Robbins Dance DivisionShelf locator: *MGZGA Anon Els 1
TopicsElssler, Fanny, 1810-1884Gypsy (Choreographic work : Mazilier)
NotesBiographical/historical: La cracovienne, inspired by the Polish folk dance called the krakowiak, was performed as part of Joseph Mazilier's ballet La gipsy (music, François Benoist, Ambroise Thomas, Marco Aurelio Mariani; scenario, Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and Mazilier; scenery, Humanité René Philastre and Charles Antoine Cambon; costumes, Paul Lormier), first presented at the Paris Opéra in 1839. It was intended to capitalize upon the success of the cachucha, another solo inspired by ethnic dance, which Elssler had performed to resounding acclaim in Jean Coralli's ballet Le diable boiteux in 1836.Biographical/historical: Fanny Elssler was, along with Marie Taglioni, one of the twin stars of the Romantic ballet of the 1830s and 1840s. Her dancing exhibited a fiery sensuality, in contrast to Taglioni's chaste and otherworldly qualities. The cachucha and the cracovienne, ethnic-flavored solos in which she shone, reflected the Romantic era's taste for exotic locales, which ran concurrently with a longing for the supernatural world of sprites and sylphides.Citation/reference: Guest, Ivor. Fanny Elssler. Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1970, illustration opposite p. 97.
Physical DescriptionWatercolorExtent: 29 x 22 cm.
DescriptionFanny Elssler performs a movement from her dance solo La cracovienne, saluting with her right hand as she extends her right leg in the position called à la seconde. Her costume as seen in this painting closely conforms to descriptions in contemporary reviews: a black military cap with white feather and cockade, two long plaits tied with red ribbons, a white tunic trimmed with buttons and braid, blue skirt, and scarlet boots with golden spurs, which reviewer Théophile Gautier likened to "a kind of castanets worn on the heels."
Type of ResourceStill image
IdentifiersNYPL catalog ID (B-number): b19319902Photo Order: 52277Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 80718550-a3e0-0131-e807-58d385a7b928
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