Croatian ballerina Carlotta Grisi was born in Vižinada near Motovun.
Her beauty and talent inspired French writer Théophile Gautier to write a libretto for one of the most significant romantic ballets of all time – the ballet Giselle. Carlotta first performed the role of a village girl who suddenly dies due to the pain of love on her 22nd birthday in Paris.
It is believed that our prima ballerina was born in the old palace of the Grimani family. In her early childhood, she went to Milan, where at the age of seven she performed for the first time at the Teatro alla Scala. In Naples, she met the greatest dancer of the time Jules Perrot, which was decisive for her further career. Together they travelled throughout Europe, achieving success after success.
Wherever Carlotta Grisi appeared she evoked admiration. With blue-purple eyes, fair hair, slim legs and beautiful face, she was always smiling and cheerful. She was a true star of the 19th-century ballet world. Carlotta Grisi wrote ballet history. The term fairy dance is related to her. She would dance on her “tips” and after her performance in Giselle, the technique was developed to perfection.
Ballerina Carlotta Grisi
Following its premiere, the ballet Giselle was performed on the Paris scene for eight years, while Grisi dance the lead role every single time. Her performance in Giselle was followed by successful performances in the ballets La Peri and Pas de quatre, appearing in London, Rome, and Saint Petersburg. The dancer left her career at the height of her fame and she died completely forgotten by her onetime admirers. The grave of Carlotta Grisi is in Switzerland.
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