2 3 Throwback Thursday and Carlotta Zambelli | Ballet Webb

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Throwback Thursday and Carlotta Zambelli

Throwback Thursday and Carlotta Zambelli

Italian ballerina Carlotta Zambelli was born in 1875 and trained at in La Scala under Cesare Coppini and Adelaide Vigano. When she was nineteen, she was discovered by Pedro Gaihard, the director of the Paris Opera who took her to Paris. She made her debut at the Paris Opera the same year, performing in Faust.  She impressed Parisian audiences with her technique and her fouettés. In 1898 she earned the title of Prima Ballerina.

In 1901 she traveled to St. Petersburg in Russia where she performed leading roles in Coppelia, Paquita and Giselle. She became the last non-Russian dancer to be designated prima ballerina at the Maryinsky.

After a year in Russia, she returned to Paris where she remained for the rest of her career. She was the leading ballerina at the Paris Opera until she retired from performing in 1930. She then began teaching full time at the Opera, and later founded the Académie Chaptal. In 1955 she retired from teaching.

Carlotta Zambelli, the prima ballerina most people never heard of, died in 1968.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Secret #78:  
Carlotta Zambelli is sometimes called a forgotten ballerina.

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  1. Hi Debra,

    Is it possible to do a post for "Cabriole"?

    Many thanks

  2. Absolutely! Thank you for the suggestion. I'll do "cabriole" on Technical Tuesday next week.

  3. Thank you so much, looking forward to it!

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