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French ballerina CLEO DE MEROD: "Ballet is my life".


Cleo de Merode (Cléo de Mérode, full name Cleopatra Diane de Merode, English Cléopatra Diane de Mérode, September 27, 1875, Paris - October 11, 1966, ibid.) - French dancer, the star of the Beautiful Age.

One of the greatest Parisian beauties, a representative of the true Austrian nobility, Cleopatra Diana de Meroda was born in Paris in 1875.
Her father, Carl Freiherr von Merod (1853-1909), lived in Mödling (near Vienna) and was a famous landscape painter.
Being a painter, he was the son of the famous Belgian aristocratic family de Merod.
"Cleopatra Diana" - so called the girl at birth.
The names of the Egyptian queen and the Roman goddess came very close to the girl who will become the embodiment of the beauty of her time. But most often it was called simply "Cleo".
At the age of eight, Cleo began teaching at the dance school and at eleven she was already dancing professionally.
She later recalled: "Still quite a child, but already quite high, I appeared in the play" Thais ", where with several of her friends danced intermezzo. We played the role of young actresses from the courtesan suite, and danced around her with a rose in one hand and a mask in the other. "




Cleo de Merod graduated from the ballet school at the National Opera in Paris.
At the Paris World Exhibition in 1900 she showed "Cambodian dances".


I danced in the Folies-Bergeres. She performed in Hamburg, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Budapest, New York.
She was very small, and because of her small size and great abilities for ballet at the age of 13 she was chosen to perform in "Choryhée" - one of the most prestigious ballet performances in Paris.



For this performance she also came up with a new hairstyle - a bando - uneducated and unblocked hair, bound and pinned to the back of the head in a bun.
Parisians liked this hairstyle, and Cleo entered with her in history - her hairdo was called her name - the hairstyle "a la Cleo de Merode" became popular all over the world!
Russia was no exception. At the opening of the department store at the end of XIX - "Mur and Merliz", which everyone now knows as TSUM, all the cashiers were in hairstyles "a la Cleo de Merod".



Cleo de Merode was not only beautiful, but also natural and elegant, in society she usually appeared in pale decadent toilets without excesses.
While all the secular ladies of that time, without fail, curled their hair into curls, Cleo allowed herself to go out with her hair loose, which was considered the height of vulgarity and indecency.




A lot of postcards depicting Cleo de Mérod, this beautiful Frenchwoman, who perpetuated her name with a smooth, straight-fitting hairdo that completely covered her ears, was issued all over the world.
Women's heads all over the world paid tribute to this fashionable hairstyle "Cleo de Merod," but they said that the beauty herself had to resort to it because she had cut off half of her left ear.


In 1896, at the age of 23, she was elected to dance, the role of Frina in the theater of opera and ballet in Bordeaux, and it was there that Leopold II, the King of Belgium, drew attention to her.


She shocked his imagination. Leopold did not like music, but he went to ballet and opera, mainly to get acquainted with the scenes with the actresses.
Cleo was 38 years younger than Leopold, was considered one of the first beauties of France and became one of the first in the history of photomodels: her photographs in exotic outfits decorated postcards and pages of magazines.





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