Julie Alix de la Fay
Léonne-Julie Alix de la Fay, also known as Julianne Bournonville and Madame Alix (14 December 1746 or 1748 – 14 March 1826), was a Belgian ballet dancer and dance pedagogue, who was to play an important part in the development of the Royal Swedish Ballet. She was the sister of the famous ballet dancer Antoine Bournonville and the aunt of August Bournonville.
Life and career
Born as Léonne-Julie Bournonville in Brussels, (then the Austrian Netherlands), in 1746 or 1748 as the child of the French actors Louis-Amable Bournonville and Jeanne Evrard, members of the theatre truope of Charles-Simon Favart, she accompanied her parents to Lyon in the troup of Noverre in 1759-1760 and debuted in La Ciaconne by Jean Dupré in Vienne in 1765. She performed at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg under Gasparo Angiolini and in Cassel in 1772-1781.
She arrived in Sweden in 1782, where she joined the Royal Swedish Ballet at the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm. In 1783, she was made premier dancer for the Gustavian ballet. On 8 February that same year, she married Claude Alix de la Faye, the French dentist of the queen; in contrast with many other female dancers of the time who married men with a different profession to their own, she continued to be active in her profession after her marriage. She was commonly known as "Madame Alix".
She gave her last performance in 1798, in the opera Cora och Alonzo (Cora and Alonzo), and was then granted retirement with a pension for life, on condition that she continued to be active as a dancing instructor. She had been doing this for years anyway, training students to perform pantomime ballet in a similar way to that of Anne Marie Milan Desguillons, who taught students to perform children's plays, and de la Fay duly continued as an instructor after her retirement.
She died in Stockholm in 1826, aged 77 or 79.
- Österberg, Carin et al., Svenska kvinnor: föregångare, nyskapare. Lund: Signum 1990. (ISBN 91-87896-03-6) (Swedish)
- Certaines biographies la dissent née à Bruxelles, d'autres indiquent Ath ou Hal. L'extrait de l'acte de mariage de Claude Alix de La Faye et de Julie Bournonville (Stockholm, 8 février 1783, Chapelle française) indique : « Lëonne Julie Bournonville, native de la paroisse de Notre Dame de Hatte entre Gand et Bruxelles, fille majeure de feu Monsieur Louis Amable Bournonville, officier au service de France, et de Dame Jeanne Evrar ». La seule commune entre Bruxelles et Gand dont la pronunciation pourrait faire penser à Hatte est Haaltert. (French)