Experience Vižinada

Carlotta Grisi, the ballet diva of Istrian descent

Carlotta Grisi, the dancer who went down in ballet history not only as the first Giselle, but also as the diva for whom this classic 19th c. ballet was written, was born in the little Istrian village of Vižinada, in 1819.

The future star took her first dance steps there, and it was already obvious that her talent would leave a lasting mark on the art of ballet dancing.
Truly, the wonder child grew up to become one of the world greatest ballerinas of Romanticism. Educated in Milan, she lit up stages all over Europe - Milan, Paris, London and Saint Petersburg.

She was the muse of the French writer Theòphile Gautier, and developed her talent under the mentorship of the choreographer and dancer Jules Perrot.
It was these two men, together with the composer Adolphe Adam, who, inspired by Carlotta Grisi’s almost divine dancing, created Giselle. Giselle has remained, to this day, one of the most performed ballets of Romanticism.

In her performances, Carlotta Grisi united the ethereal quality of Maria Taglioni with the character of Fanny Elssler. In the role of Giselle, in which she first performed in 1841, she proved to be the untouchable heiress to these two great stars who ruled the ballet scene before her.

She also performed in many other extraordinary roles and retired at the height of her fame. Many parts of her life are still shrouded in mystery.