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Jean Coralli was born in Paris in 1779. He trained at the Paris Academie, which is now the Paris opera. Coralli made his debut there in 1802. He danced and choreographed in Milan, Lisbon, and Marseille, before returning to Paris, in 1825, as choreographer for the Theatre de la Porte Saint-Martin.
He was choreographer in residence at the Paris Academie, where, during the height of ballet’s Romantic period, he choreographed for such famous ballerinas as Fanny Elssler and Carlotta Grisi, creator of the title role in Giselle. Coralli also helped establish Elssler’s popularity by including in several of his ballets the spectacular pas de caractere, or theatricalized folk dances, in which she excelled. In addition to Giselle, which he choreographed with Jules Perrot. Coralli also choreographed such successful and frequently revived ballets as Le Diable Boiteux , La Tarentule, and La Peri.