Famous 19th Century Choreographers

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Vote for Your Favourite 19th Century Choreographers

 1 
Isadora Duncan
(Dancer & Choreographer)

Isadora Duncan
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Birthdate: May 26, 1877
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: September 14, 1927

Isadora Duncan was a dancer acclaimed in USA, Europe, and the Soviet Union. Raised by a single mother, she grew up in poverty and started teaching dance to children to earn some money. She later joined Augustin Daly's theater company. Eventually, she opened her own dance schools to teach her unique philosophy and techniques to her students. 

 2 
Loie Fuller
(Actor, Lighting designer, Choreographer, Artist, Dancer, Stage actor, Model)

Loie Fuller
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Birthdate: January 15, 1862
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Illinois
Died: January 1, 1928

 3 
Sergei Diaghilev
(Art Critic)

Sergei Diaghilev
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Birthdate: March 31, 1872
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chudovsky District, Russia
Died: August 19, 1929

Sergei Diaghilev was a Russian ballet impresario, patron, and art critic. He is credited with founding the popular ballet company Ballets Russes, which has produced some of the greatest and popular choreographers and dancers like Tamara Karsavina, Lydia Sokolova, Serge Lifar, and Alicia Markova. Sergei Diaghilev is remembered for placing the needs of his company and dancers above his own.

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 4 
Marius Petipa
(Ballet dancer)

Marius Petipa
3
Birthdate: March 11, 1818
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Marseille, France
Died: July 14, 1910

Marius Petipa was a French pedagogue, ballet dancer, and choreographer. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential and important ballet choreographers and masters in ballet history. From 1871 to 1903, he served as the principal choreographer and Ballet Master of the popular Imperial Russian Ballet. In the 1983 biopic Anna Pavlova, Petipa was played by Pyotr Gusev.

 5 
Michel Fokine
(Choreographer)

Michel Fokine
2
Birthdate: April 23, 1880
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: August 22, 1942

Michel Fokine was a Russian dancer and choreographer whose pieces are performed internationally to this day. Fokine is credited with choreographing the works of popular dancers like Anna Pavlova. Renowned for his groundbreaking works, such as Le Pavillon d'Armide, Michel Fokine has been portrayed in a couple of films, namely Nijinsky and A Woman for All Time.

 6 
Busby Berkeley
(Film director)

Busby Berkeley
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Birthdate: November 29, 1895
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: March 14, 1976

 7 

Ruth St. Denis
2
Birthdate: January 20, 1879
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Died: July 21, 1968
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 8 
Doris Humphrey
(Dancer and Choreographer)

Doris Humphrey
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Birthdate: October 17, 1895
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chicago
Died: December 29, 1958

One of the pioneers of American modern dance, Doris Humphrey had begun her career with the Denishawn dance school. The daughter of a pianist mother, she later launched her own dance school with her mother as the manager. She also excelled in American vaudeville and promoted the dance movement theory.

 9 
Rudolf von Laban
(Dance Artist)

Rudolf von Laban
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Birthdate: December 15, 1879
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Pozsony, Kingdom of Hungary, Austro-Hungarian Empire
Died: July 1, 1958

 10 
Maud Allan
(Pianist)

Maud Allan
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Birthdate: August 27, 1873
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada
Died: October 7, 1956

Maud Allan was a Canadian dancer who became known for her Dance of the Seven Veils. She studied piano at the Hochschule für Musik and became a piano teacher. She later abandoned the piano in favor of dance. She was very creative as a dancer and even designed her own costumes. She became a dance teacher in her later years.  

 11 
Bronislava Nijinska
(Ballet Dancer)

Bronislava Nijinska
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Birthdate: January 8, 1891
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Minsk, Belarus
Died: February 21, 1972

 12 
Tamara Karsavina
(Prima Ballerina)

Tamara Karsavina
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Birthdate: March 9, 1885
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: May 26, 1978

Tamara Karsavina was a Russian ballet dancer who served as a principal artist at Sergei Diaghilev's popular company The Ballets Russes. Karsavina also taught ballet and is credited with co-founding modern British ballet. After settling in Britain, Tamara Karsavina popularized the dance form in Britain and helped establish The Royal Academy of Dance as well as The Royal Ballet.

 13 

Jean-Georges Noverre
2
Birthdate: April 29, 1727
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: October 19, 1810

Jean-Georges Noverre was a French balletmaster and dancer. It is widely believed that he created ballet d'action, a predecessor of the story ballet of the 19th century. Noverre's works continue to inspire and influence several ballet dancers around the world. Such was his contribution to ballet that Jean-Georges Noverre's birthday is celebrated as International Dance Day.

 14 
August Bournonville
(Ballet Master)

August Bournonville
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Birthdate: August 21, 1805
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark
Died: November 30, 1879

 15 
Hanya Holm
(Choreographer)

Hanya Holm
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Birthdate: March 3, 1893
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Worms, Germany
Died: November 3, 1992

Hanya Holm was a dancer, choreographer, and dance educator. One of the founders of American modern dance, Holm taught at prestigious institutions like the Juilliard School. In 1976, she was honored with the Heritage Award by the National Dance Association. In 1988, Hanya Holm was made an inductee of The National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame.

 16 
Jules Perrot
(Dancer)

Jules Perrot
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Birthdate: August 18, 1810
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lyon, France
Died: August 29, 1892

Jules Perrot was a French dancer and choreographer who served as the ballet master of the prestigious Imperial Russian Ballet. Perrot is credited with creating some of the 19th century's most popular ballets, such as La Esmeralda, Pas de Quatre, Giselle, and Ondine. During his illustrious career, Jules Perrot coached famous ballerinas like Carlotta Grisi and Fanny Cerrito.

 17 

Albertina Rasch
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Birthdate: January 19, 1891
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: October 2, 1967

 18 
Arthur Saint-Léon
(Ballet Master)

Arthur Saint-Léon
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Birthdate: September 17, 1821
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: September 2, 1870

Arthur Saint-Léon was a ballet master who worked with the Imperial Russian Ballet from 1859 to 1869. He is remembered for choreographing a popular ballet named Coppélia. He is also remembered for inventing a method of choreographic notation, which was the first notation to document the movements of the torso, head, and arms apart from the movements of the feet.  

 19 

Charles Didelot
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Birthdate: March 27, 1767
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden
Died: November 7, 1837

Charles Didelot was a French dancer and choreographer. Didelot is credited with creating ballet shoes and popularizing Russian ballet around the world. After studying with prominent balletmasters like Jean Dauberval and Jean-Georges Noverre, Charles Didelot went on to teach ballet at the Imperial Theatres of Russian Empire. He is also credited with choreographing the famous Flore et Zéphire in 1796.

 20 

Margaret Morris
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Birthdate: March 10, 1891
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kensington, England
Died: February 29, 1980

 21 
Fanny Cerrito
(Ballet Dancer)

Fanny Cerrito
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Birthdate: May 11, 1817
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Naples, Italy
Died: May 6, 1909

 22 

Filippo Taglioni
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Birthdate: November 5, 1777
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
Died: February 11, 1871

 23 
Louis Horst
(Choreographer)

Louis Horst
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Birthdate: January 12, 1884
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Died: January 23, 1964

 24 
Jean Coralli
(Ballet dancer)

Jean Coralli
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Birthdate: January 15, 1779
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 1, 1854

Best known for co-creating the romantic ballet Giselle with Jules Perrot, Jean Coralli was associated with La Scala in Milan and Porte-Saint-Martin Theater in Paris. The famed ballet dancer and choreographer, who was the son of a Théâtre Italien comedian, also excelled in works such as La Péri and La Tentation.

 25 
Carlo Blasis
(Dancer)

Carlo Blasis
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Birthdate: November 4, 1797
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Naples, Italy
Died: January 15, 1878

 26 

Alexander Alexeyevich Gorsky
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Birthdate: August 6, 1871
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: October 20, 1924

Alexander Alexeyevich Gorsky was a Russian ballet choreographer. A contemporary of Marius Petipa, Gorsky is best remembered for restaging the former's classical ballets like The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, and Swan Lake. Alexander Alexeyevich Gorsky is also remembered for valuing acting skills over dance technique which made him one of the most controversial ballet choreographers of his generation.

 27 

Christian Johansson
1
Birthdate: May 20, 1817
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden
Died: December 12, 1903

Christian Johansson was a ballet teacher and choreographer. He is best remembered for working at the Imperial Russian Ballet where he served as a ballet master. Johansson is widely regarded as one of the most prominent teachers in the history of Russian ballet. Christian Johansson is credited with influencing a generation of ballet dancers.

 28 
Michio Itō
(Dancer)

Michio Itō
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Birthdate: April 13, 1892
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
Died: November 6, 1961

 29 
Salvatore Viganò
(Choreographer)

Salvatore Viganò
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Birthdate: March 25, 1769
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Naples, Italy
Died: August 10, 1821

 30 

Vasily Tikhomirov
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Birthdate: March 29, 1876
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: June 20, 1956

A renowned Bolshoi Ballet dancer, Vasily Tikhomirov is best remembered for his performance in The Red Poppy with his wife Yekaterina Geltzer. His powerful and masculine moves added to the typical Bolshoi Ballet style of dance. He developed the Bolshoi school markedly after the 1917 Revolution.

 31 

Nicholas Sergeyev
1
Birthdate: September 27, 1876
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: St. Petersburg, Russia
Died: May 23, 1951

Nicholas Sergeyev was a Russian ballet choreographer, dancer, and teacher. He served as a theatre director of the Imperial Russian Ballet at the Maryinsky Theatre in St Petersburg. From 1919 onwards, he produced ballets for several leading western companies. Nicholas Sergeyev is credited with preserving the records of the Lev Ivanov and Marius Petipa choreographies of classical ballets.

 32 

Gasparo Angiolini
1
Birthdate: February 9, 1731
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: February 6, 1803

 33 

Suzanne Douvillier
1
Birthdate: September 28, 1778
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dole, France
Died: August 30, 1826

Popularly known as Madame Placide, Suzanne Douvillier is regarded by some as the first trained female choreographer to perform in the US. Not much is known about her childhood apart from the fact that she was an illegitimate child. She made history with her debut in The Bird Catcher.

 34 
Valéria Dienes
(Philosopher)

Valéria Dienes
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Birthdate: May 25, 1879
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Szekszárd, Hungary
Died: June 8, 1978

Apart from being one of the first female university graduates from Hungary, Valéria Dienes was a pioneering dancer and choreographer, who revolutionized the field of movement art. Initially interested in math, she later deviated to music and psychology, and eventually to dance, developing the orchestics system of movement.

 35 
Louis Duport
(Ballet dancer)

Louis Duport
0
Birthdate: January 1, 1786
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: October 19, 1853

A child prodigy, Louis Duport excelled in both dance and the violin since his early days. He not only developed the classical technique of ballet but also gained fame for his appearances in Charles Didelot’s ballets, such as Zéphyre et Flore. He was also a principal dancer at the Opéra de Paris.