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André Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri
Carte de visite
Born Maria Surovshchikova, the illegitimate daughter of a St. Petersburg milliner, she studied at the Imperial Ballet academy in St. Petersburg. In 1854 she married Marius Petipa, one of the greatest choreographers of the nineteenth century, and joined the Bolshoi Theatre. She created many roles in her husband's ballets and was a great success in travestie parts.
She made her Paris début at the Opéra on 29 May 1861 in Le Marche des Innocents. "She is truly Russian", wrote one contemporary critic. "She aspires neither to the fine classical effects of the French style, nor the warm and powerful fantasy of Italy, nor to a Spanish fury. She is a delightful caprice, ever floating between a heedless folly and a graceful melancholy, a strange mixture resulting from her Slav character."
After her divorce from Petipa in 1869 her career went downhill. She died in 1882.