III KATTI LANNER

THE NEW management began their work auspiciously by engaging Katti Lanner as ballet-mistress. Already well known to the London public both as dancer and choreographer, Katti Lanner was now to embark upon the most prolific phase of a career which had opened in 1845, the year of the famous Pas de Quatre, and was to close not long before her death in 1908. During her reign at the Empire, she produced no less than thirtysix ballets, some being revised in 'second editions', and the first thirty-four of them, produced between 1887 and 1905, being consecutive works.

Katharina Josefa Lanner was born on September 14, 1829, the daughter of a famous father, Josef Lanner, one of the waltz kings of old Vienna.1 Evincing a desire to study dancing from a very early age, she entered the school of the Vienna Court Opera as a child and received her first lessons from the ballet-master, Pietro Campilli. Her father died before she was fourteen, but the reputation that clung to the name of Lanner was soon to be carried on by his daughter, who, on August 4, 1845, made a successful début on the stage of the Court Opera in a pas de deux inserted in Antonio Guerra ballet Angelica.

Under the guidance of Isidore Carey, father of the dancers Edouard and Gustave Carey, Katti Lanner polished her technique and developed her gifts as a mime. Her natural musicality, inherited from her father, gave her dancing a distinctive quality, which earned her recognition as one of the most promising young dancers in the company. She also attracted the attention of two celebrated ballerinas who visited Vienna during the eighteen-forties, Fanny Elssler and Fanny Cerrito, both of whom prophesied that a brilliant future lay ahead of her. It was not

____________________
1
Josef Lanner was born in the Parish of St. Ulrich, Vienna, on Apr. 12, 1801. He married, on Nov. 28, 1828, Franciska Jahns, daughter of August Jahns, a glover, and Katharina Mutzbauer. Katti Lanner, who was born in the Parish of Laimgrube (now part of the Maria Hilf district), had one sister and one brother: Josef Augusta, born at Laimgrube on Dec. 21, 1831, and August Joseph, born on Jan. 23, 1834. Josef Lanner died on Apr. 14, 1843, and his son on Sept. 27, 1855.

-19-

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