Elssler, Fanny, 1810-84, Austrian dancer. The youngest daughter of Johann Elssler, copyist and valet of Haydn, she made her debut (1833) in London. She danced at the Paris Opéra (1834-39) and in London (1838-40). Her forte was folk dancing, especially of the cachucha, the cracovienne, and the tarantella. She toured (1840-42) the United States and after appearances throughout Europe retired in 1851. She was one of the most important ballerinas of the Romantic era; her dancing was sensuous, earthy, and fired by great energy. Her sister, Thérèse, often supported her as partner.
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