Sylvie Guillem is a French ballet dancer who worked with the Paris Opera Ballet where she was the top-ranking female dancer from 1984 to 1989. She then went on to become a principal guest artist at the Royal Ballet in London. Over the course of her career, Guillem has won many awards, including the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale.
Gabriella Papadakis is a French ice dancer who won the silver medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea. Along with her skating partner Guillaume Cizeron, Papadakis has won five successive European championship titles, six French national championship titles, four World Championships, and two Grand Prix Final championships. Papadakis and Cizeron have broken 29 world records so far.
La Goulue was a French can-can dancer who became a favorite subject for painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec at the peak of her popularity. Dubbed the Queen of Montmartre, Goulue is remembered for performing at the Moulin Rouge near Montmartre where she was a star. After parting ways with Moulin Rouge, she lost a considerable amount of money and died poor.
Zizi Jeanmaire was a French actress, ballet dancer, and singer. Jeanmaire achieved popularity in the 1950s after portraying the title role in the popular ballet Carmen which was created by Roland Petit and staged at the Prince's Theatre in London. She went on to marry Roland Petit, who created several revues and ballets for her.
Micheline Bernardini is a French retired nude dancer who worked at the Casino de Paris. Bernardini is best known for modeling Louis Réard's first two-piece swimsuit, which he later called the bikini. After achieving immense popularity by modeling the first bikini in 1946, Micheline Bernardini went on to appear in several revues at the Tivoli Theatre from 1948 to 1958.
Jane Avril was a French dancer who specialized in can-can, a popular music-hall dance of the 1840s. Avril was made famous by popular French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec who often depicted Jane Avril in his paintings. In the 1952 British drama film Moulin Rouge, Jane Avril was played by Hungarian-American actress Zsa Zsa Gabor.
Michèle Mercier is a French actress best known for playing Angélique Sancé de Monteloup in the 1964 historical romance film Angélique, Marquise des Anges. Over the course of her illustrious career, Mercier has worked with prominent directors like Dino Risi, François Truffaut, Mario Monicelli, and Ken Annakin. She has also appeared alongside popular actors like Marcello Mastroianni and Charles Bronson.
Nathalie Péchalat is a French former ice dancer who won two European championships, five French national championships, and five medals at the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final along with her skating partner Fabian Bourzat. She is currently serving as the president of the French Federation of Ice Sports.
Liane de Pougy was a French dancer and vedette who performed at the Folies Bergère in Paris. Remembered for her captivating looks, de Pougy was widely regarded as one of Paris's most notorious courtesans. She also served as the subject for many artists like Paul César Helleu and Jean Baptiste Guth.
Cleo de Merode was a French dancer whose glamor overshadowed her dancing skills. Often referred to as the first modern celebrity and the first real celebrity icon, de Mérode was also the first female public figure whose pictures were distributed worldwide. She is also remembered for her sculpture La Danseuse which was sculpted from a plaster cast of her body.
Marika Rivera was a French-born actress and dancer best remembered for playing important roles in movies like Hôtel du Paradis and Eat the Rich. After starting her career as a dancer, Marika Rivera went on to establish herself as an actress. However, her personal life, which includes her marriage with acclaimed painter Jean Paul Brusset, eclipsed her professional achievements.
Marina Anissina is a French-Russian ice dancer who represents France in major tournaments, such as the Olympics. She won the gold medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics and is a six-time French national champion. She has also represented France in European Championships, where she has won two gold medals, two silver medals, and a bronze medal.
Liliane Montevecchi was a French-Italian actress, singer, and dancer. She is best remembered for her performance in the 1957 movie The Living Idol. After starting her career as a ballet dancer, Montevecchi went on to establish herself as an actress. In 1982, she won the prestigious Tony Award for her performance in Nine. She also participated in many humanitarian causes.
Alessandra Martines is an Italian-French actress and dancer best known for playing the title role in the popular Fantaghirò TV film series. Her portrayal of Fantaghirò has earned her several prestigious awards, such as the Best Actress Telegatto. In 2014, she was honored with the Kineo Award for lifetime achievement at the Venice International Film Festival.
Violette Verdy was a French ballet dancer, teacher, choreographer, and writer. From 1958 to 1977, Verdy served as the principal dancer for the New York City Ballet where she was a star. She also served as the director for popular ballet companies like the Boston Ballet and the Paris Opera Ballet. During her lifetime, Verdy was honored with several awards.
Yvette Chauviré was a French actress and ballet dancer. Regarded as the greatest ballerina from France, Chauviré also served as the coach of prima ballerinas like Marie-Claude Pietragalla and Sylvie Guillem. Her life and career inspired a documentary film titled Yvette Chauviré: une étoile pour l'example which was released in 1983. In 1964, she was awarded the Legion of Honour.
Suzy Delair was a French actress, singer, dancer, comedian, and vaudeville artist. She is best remembered for her lead role of Chérie Lamour in the 1951 French-Italian film Atoll K which marked the final screen appearance of the popular comedy duo Laurel and Hardy.
Marie van Goethem was a French ballet dancer who worked with the Paris Opera Ballet. She is best remembered for posing as a model for Impressionist artist Edgar Degas's famous statue Little Dancer of Fourteen Years. Marie van Goethem's life and career have inspired several fictitious and non-fictitious novels and documentaries.
Emmanuelle Bouaziz is a French actress, singer, and dancer. After studying dance at the prestigious Rick Odums Performing Arts Institute, Bouaziz went on to appear in several musicals, such as Mamma Mia!, Roméo et Juliette, and 1789: Les Amants de la Bastille. Her performance in musicals earned her opportunities to act in films and TV series.
England-born Russian ice dancer Tiffany Zahorski began skating at the age of two, becoming British Novice Solo Dance Champion by the age of eleven and French Novice Solo Dance Champion by the age of fourteen. A Russian citizen since 2016, she represented Russia in the 2018 Winter Olympics with her partner Jonathan Guerreiro. She won gold in the 2018 Warsaw Cup and silver in 2020 Rostelecom Cup.
Isabelle Duchesnay is a former ice dancer who won the 1991 World Championship title and the silver medal at the 1992 Winter Olympics along with her brother and skating partner Paul Duchesnay. Born to a Canadian father and French mother, Isabelle Duchesnay has represented both France and Canada. In 1992, she released her book Notre passion.
Ludmilla Tchérina was a French prima ballerina, actress, sculptor, painter, author, and choreographer. In 1942, she became the youngest prima ballerina when she made her debut, creating the role of Juliet in Serge Lifar's Romeo and Juliet. Although she had a lifelong passion for sculpting and painting, Ludmilla Tchérina is primarily remembered for her skills as an actress.
Emma Livry was a French ballet dancer. A student of Marie Taglioni, Livry was one of the last ballet dancers of the Romantic ballet era. Emma Livry is best remembered for her untimely death at the age of 20; she died of burn injuries when her outfit caught fire while practicing for her upcoming performance.
Marie-Claude Pietragalla, who joined the Paris Opera Ballet at age 16, is known for her versatility. Once the Paris Opera etoile, she later also won honors such as the Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur. Known for ballets such as Don Quixote, she now also owns her own ballet company.
Marie-Anne de Cupis de Camargo was a French ballet dancer. Camargo was the first female dancer to execute a dance move which came to be known as the entrechat quatre. She was also one of the first ballerinas to dance wearing slippers instead of the then-customary heeled shoes. Marie-Anne de Cupis de Camargo is also credited with popularizing ballet tights.
Colette Marchand was a French actress and ballet dancer. She is best remembered for her portrayal of Marie Charlet in the 1952 British drama film Moulin Rouge for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Marchand was widely regarded as one of Europe's greatest dancers during the peak of her career.
Nina Vyroubova was a Russian-born French ballet dancer who made her debut in the popular comic ballet Coppélia in 1937. Widely regarded as one of the greatest ballerinas of her generation, Vyroubova achieved international recognition after performing in Roland Petit's breakthrough work Les Forains. After her retirement, Nina Vyroubova taught ballet in Paris.
De Lafontaine is best remembered for his iconic Fables, a collection of both Western and Eastern fables, that is now considered a classic in French literature. He was known for his association with scholars and writers at the salon of Mme de La Sablière. He was also part of the French Academy.
Marie-Madeleine Guimard is best remembered for her 30-year stint as the leading ballerina of the Paris Opéra. She began her dance career with Comédie-Française as a teenager. She was also a well-known courtesan who was kept by aristocrats and was herself a love child who was later legitimized.
Iconic French ballerina Françoise Prévost began her career with the Académie d'Opera. She is largely regarded as a pioneer of classical ballet and was also known for her mime and drama. Her emotionally moving performance in Jean Balon’s Les Horaces was known to have made the audiences cry.
French dancer and ballerina Delphine Moussin had begun training in dance along with her sister Caroline. Initially the principal dancer and then the prima ballerina of the Corps de Ballet de l'Opéra, she gained fame after performing in the ballet Cinderella with a broken wrist.
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.