Elssler, Fanny(fä`nē ĕl`slər), 1810–84, Austrian dancer. The youngest daughter of Johann Elssler, copyist and valet of Haydn, she made her debut (1833) in London. She danced at the Paris Opéra (1834–39) and in London (1838–40). Her forte was folk dancing, especially of the cachucha, the cracovienne, and the tarantella. She toured (1840–42) the United States and after appearances throughout Europe retired in 1851. She was one of the most important ballerinas of the Romantic era; her dancing was sensuous, earthy, and fired by great energy. Her sister, Thérèse, often supported her as partner.
See biography by I. Guest (1970).
(real first name, Franziska). Born June 23, 1810, in Vienna; died there Nov. 27, 1884. Austrian ballerina; one of the most outstanding dancers of the romantic ballet.
Elssler studied under J. Aumer and perfected her technique in Italy. She first appeared on the stage in 1822, and her career eventually took her to Vienna and Berlin (1827-32), London (1833), Paris (1834-40), the United States (1840-41), and Moscow and St. Petersburg (1848-50).
Elssler’s roles included Florinda in Le Diable boiteux and Lauretta in La Tarentule, both to music by Gide. She won worldwide fame for her performance of the interpolated dance “La Cachucha” in Le Diable boiteux. She also excelled as Lise in Hérold’s La Fille mal gardée and in the title role in Pugni’s La Esmeralda.
REFERENCESKrasovskaia, V. Russkii baletnyi teatr et voszniknoveniia do ser. XIX veka. Leningrad-Moscow, 1958.
Beaumont, C. W. Fanny Elssler. London, 1931.
Guest, I. Fanny Elssler. London, 1970.