The Story Of Ballerina Virginia Zucchi

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Ballet is an expression that takes grace, stamina, and a good mental outlook for it to become the art form it is meant to be. No one achieved this to the completeness as Italian prima ballerina Virginia Zucchi. She had a different style that added Italian style, and spirit, along with grace, to her dancing, which gave people a new exciting way to look at ballet dancing.

Born in Parma in 1849 Virginia Zucchi studied her art under Lepri and Carlo Blasis in Malian. Her dancing debut took place in 1864 in Varese, at the age of fifteen. During her first year, she danced in Italy, Paris and Berlin. Following that in the year 1885 she spent her summer at Kin Grust in Saint Petersburg. Her success was highlighted by being asked to perform at the Imperial Theater; the Russians were amazed at her Italian dance style. That summer sparked her career, and she was asked to become a part of the Mariinsky Theater in Russia, during the years 1885 to 1888. Just a few of her ballets during that time are The Pharaoh’s Daughter, The King’s Command, Paquita and Mal’ Gardee. Included in this short list was La Esmeralda which was specially reworked for her to perform, it was such an emotional performance, it moved most of her audience to tears.

Following the Mariinsky Theater Virginia Zucchi danced in Saint Petersburg and Moscow with her own established company. Virginia Zucchi also performed in Nice at the Bayreuth Festival and created the Venusberg scene which she preformed in Wagner’s Tannhäuser. In 1895 she performed in The Opera of Paris. Her final performance was in Milan during the year 1898.

Virginia Zucchi made the knee length skirt, which is called the classic tutu popular. Wearing the tutu allowed the audiences to see the movement and grace of her legs, and feet, which added to the appreciation of her talent. Her dedication and talent for ballet lead to the development of the Saint Petersburg Ballet School. She also helped perfect techniques at the Imperial Ballet School. The acknowledgment of her talent in the schools paved the way for greater demands to be made of the ballet students of today.

Later retiring to Monte Carlo she opened her own ballet school and became a teacher passing on her talent and love for ballet. Ballerina Virginia Zucchi died in 1933 at the age of eighty three.


Source by Ashton Field

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