Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

Auguste Vestris

Recommended Posts

A friend alerted me to the following description of Auguste Vestris taken from:

Letters of a Russian Traveler 1789-1790: An account of a young Russian gentleman’s tour through Germany, Switzerland, France and England.

by N M Karamzin. pages 171-3

The passage below was written when Karamzin, a young man of 22, arrived in Lyon. 9 March 1790.

“We arrived at the theater at five o’clock, and bought tickets for the parterre. The boxes, parquet, and gallery were crowded, for Vestris [Auguste], the foremost dancer of Paris, had promised to delight the Lyon public for the last time with his nimble feet. The place hummed all around us like a beehive...."

"Vestris, dressed as a shepherd, bounded like a wanton buck. The music began again -- all the dramatic heroes scampered off -- the curtain rose -- the ballet began. Vestris appeared, and thunderous applause rang out in every corner of the theater. The art of his dancing is truly amazing. His mind seems to be in his feet, despite all the theories of the physiologists who seek it in the brain. What a figure! What agility! What balance! Never did I imagine that a dancer could afford me so much pleasure! Thus, every art which attains perfection is pleasing to our soul! The applause of the enraptured Frenchmen drowned out the music. In the attitude of a passionate lover whose soul is merged with the soul of his beloved, Vestris withdrew from the audience's sight. He kissed his shepherdess and flung himself on a bench to rest.

Again a comedy in one act, a very empty one, was performed. After this a new ballet began. Vestris appeared again, and again there was thunderous applause with each movement of his feet."

[Karamzin then goes on to describe how the audience persuades Vestris to give an extra performance the following night.]

"The enthusiasm was so great that I think the flighty French could, at that moment, have proclaimed Vestris their dictator."

Link to comment
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...