It is hardly safe to say that Maria Ivanovna Perfileva, who became famous as Danilova, was only happy or completely unhappy during her life. There were trials and amazing successes and frustrations in it. However, the name of the stamped ballerina and her contribution to art have not remained forgotten. She is sung by poets, became a muse for the most famous ballet masters of her time and inspired dancers to continue her spiritualized performance.
The road to purpose
Biography of the future artist began in 1793. She was born in Saint Petersburg. The girl was distinguished from an early age by striking plasticity and grace. In 1801 she was admitted to the St. Petersburg Theatre School. The diligence and contiguity of the eight-year-old baby amazed everyone.
Her talent was so visible that her future was predicted to be brilliant. The famous teachers Charles Didlo and Evgenia Kolosova taught Mashenka. Didlo referred to Maria as his best student. All the time Danilova took classes.
Without leaving the walls of the school, Danilova already glittered on the professional scene. The 15-year-old girl was entrusted with the performance of the party in the ballets “Zephyr and Flora”, “Apollo and Daphne”, created by her teacher. The admiration caused already one image of a graceful girl. And the poetic mood of the goddess of flowers was created by masterly acting and elegant dance.
Didlot first conceived a production of “Zephyr and Flora” in Lyon in 1795. However, the realization of the conceived failed due to the imperfection of the technique and too small size of the scene. Ballet masters needed machines for transformations, and beating fountains, and flights. It premiered at London’s Theatre Royal in the summer of 1796. In the main parts glittered the choreographer himself and his wife.
‘s successful career
constantly improved production, supplemented with new characters, changed music. According to some historians, for the first time it was in this ballet that a dancer stood up for pointes.
After completing her education, the young ballerina made her debut in the play “Love of Venus and Adonis, or Vengeance of Mars”. At the end of 1809 Maria Ivanovna became part of the Imperial Ballet Company, immediately becoming a soloist in it.
Her mastery on stage was compared by contemporaries to wonder. And Danilova said that the ballerina is the personification of beauty perfection. Many lines were devoted to her and famous domestic poets.
Maria Ivanovna masterly mastered the art of dance. The audience was elated by her airiness and ease on stage. Gifted turned out to be Danilova and as an actress. With the help of facial expressions and gestures, they without a single word conveyed the slightest hues of feelings to the public. In her work harmoniously merged artistry and flawlessness of technique.
In 1808 the famous French performer Louis Duport began performances in St. Petersburg. He was distinguished by a technique unthinkable for the time. It was claimed that in three jumps he could cross a huge stage as if he was vaping over it.
The star role
gained fame as a dancer and as a ballet master. Usually in his productions, the main parts were performed by himself. Problems started usually when looking for partners due to very high requirements. Young soloist Mashenka Danilova perfectly suited all the criteria of the master.
Dupor and Danilova’s contemporaries rated very highly. Maria performed her success in the ballet “Love of Venus and Adonis” in the image of Venus. Striked by contrast her new image. In Dupor’s ballet “The Circulus of Seville”, the goddess was transformed into a wacky and lively Rosina. Equally easy and brilliant Danilova played both comedic and tragic roles. It was not uncommon for a performer and divertisments with Russian dances.
Didlo didn’t leave the talented student without filming. The pinnacle of success for Maria was his ballet “Cupid and Psyche”. The ballet master staged the play in 1809. Music for it was composed by Katerina Kavos. According to contemporaries, the production represented a real triumph of skill. The main decoration of the scene was Danilova in the party of Psyche.
The premiere was held at the Hermitage Theatre on 8 January. The performances were soon moved to the Stone (Bolshoi) Theatre. The ethereal dancer epitomized airiness. In performances, Maria appeared daily. The unusual giving of her developed in various Didlo productions. However, it was the role of Psyche that perfectly suited Danilova. From the side it seemed that it was created only for her. The public called Maria the Russian Taglioni.
During the performances, technique was always used. For the flight of heroes used a system of machines. The dancer was put on a special corset to mount a metal cable. Vaping above the ground was a very risky stunt. The slightest glitch — and tragedy is imminent.
At one of the rehearsals, the car yanked abruptly, dealing the ballerina a heavy blow. However, despite her misfortune Maria continued the performances. She glittered in a light dance of Psyche, brightening the stage with her smile. From the artist such airiness required incredible forces.
Constant overloads and the urge to fully lay out on performances caused the talented girl to literally “burn out” at work in a matter of months. From life Maria Ivanovna left in 1910, January 20.
A month later, the ballet from the repertoire was withdrawn: no one else managed to replace the dancer. Even in life she became a heroine of myths, and with leaving and at all turned into a legend. Her name is forever inscribed in the history of domestic theatre.