| Emilia Bigottini
|| Emilia Bigottini|
Mademoiselle Bigottini ... A favorite of Napoleon,
who once paid tribute to her grace and skill by presenting her
with a magnificently bound set of the classics of French literature.
Emilia Bigottini danced at the Paris Opera for nearly a quarter
of a century. Marie
Taglioni started her career in Vienna in 1823, the same year
of Emilia's retirement.
Bigottini's dancing was not confined with the
chastely modest costume... the Victorian "Sylphide"
dress, which Taglioni would make so popular. The first empire
liked its dancers to be free, and it liked to see the beautiful
lines of the dancers highly trained bodies. Except for its "raised
Empire waistline," the abbreviated,
Semitransparent costume worn by Bigottini
in Le Carnival de Venise, a ballet produced by her brother in-law,
Louis Milon, in 1816, might have been designed in the 1950s instead
of a year after the battle of Waterloo.
Bigottini was reported as never a technical
virtuoso but rather noted for her lightness and elegance. Shortly
after Noverre's death in 1809, the great dance theorist set the
seal of his critical approval on the art of Bigottini.