Italian ballerina born in Milan. She studied with Beretta in Milan and in 1890 appeared as prima ballerina at London's Alhambra Theatre in the Casati ballet 'Salandra'. In 1892 she was appointed prima ballerina at La Scala then in 1893 moved to St Petersburg in where she danced as prima ballerina with the Maryinsky Theatre until 1901. Here she created numerous title roles in Petipa ballets including 'Cinderella' in 1893, Odette-Odile in 'Swan Lake' in 1895 and other roles in 'Raymonda' (1898) and 'Camargo' in 1901. A dancer of unusual technical brilliance and refinement, her most celebrated feat (or cursed one in a ballerinas mind today!) Was the 32 fouette turns without stopping which she first performed in 'Aladdin' and they are used now in Act 3 of 'Swan Lake', the Black Swans solo. She was appointed prima ballerina assoluta at the Maryinsky, the only other to be awarded this was Kshessinka, and spurred Russian dancers to emulate her virtuosity. After retiring from the stage she lived in Italy and served on the examining board of La Scala Ballet School until four months before she died.
Bio by: Medora