I wish to draw attention to the rediscovery in Paris of the holograph text of Marie Taglioni’s memoirs and its subsequent publication, Souvenirs: Le manuscrit inédit de la grande danseuse romantique, in July 2017. The document, lost for so many years, was “found” in 2015 at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, and in Souvenirs, Bruno Ligore and Audrey Gay-Mazuel clarify the mysteries surrounding the manuscript… Icônes du Ballet Romantique: Marie Taglioni et sa famille, published [in 2016], should be considered a companion book to Taglioni’s own text. In fact, to fully appreciate the memoirs, it is best to examine both books in conjunction with the essay by Francesca Falcone and the chronology and the genealogy of the Taglioni family established by Madison Sowell and included in Icônes…
The Bibliothèque-musée de l’Opéra (Opera Library) is undoubtedly the most important French repository of dance materials… Among its many items, one can find unique copies of books and manuscripts of Feuillet notation, materials on Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, costume and set designs, and music scores for the Paris Opera. Its Taglioni Collection documenting Marie’s career is considered one of its prized holdings and includes her memoirs and press clippings. … I had for a long time been intrigued by the fact that the Musée des Arts Décoratifs has its own extensive Taglioni collection…and that many [of its items] had been donated or bequeathed by the Taglioni family. However, the question remained: how did this museum, whose core collections are far removed from the dance, come to be the repository of these artifacts?
For these reasons, when I met for the first time with Audrey Gay-Mazuel, I asked to see the Musée des Arts Décoratifs’ complete Taglioni Collection, and in November 2014, Gay-Mazuel, who is the museum’s curator in charge of the nineteenth century decorative arts,…showed me all of the ballerina’s own possessions that she had been able to locate… Unfortunately, at the time, the cardboard document box containing nine notebooks of Marie Taglioni’s memoirs listed in the inventory was nowhere to be found. In fact, I had been greatly surprised to learn of the Arts Décoratifs’ manuscript, because it was thought that the original manuscript of the memoirs was at the Bibliothèque de l’Opéra, and the existence of a second holograph version seemed unlikely.
Gay-Mazuel immediately set about searching for the missing items [and] this pursuit was rewarded when the archivist of the Arts Décoratifs located the seven notebooks. This discovery enabled Ligore to transcribe the manuscripts and Gay-Mazuel to make a complete inventory of the Arts Décoratifs’ Taglioni objects…
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ISSN 0522-0653 6 x 9 in, 132 pages
60 color photographs 7 black and white photographs