"She is considered to be one of the most brilliant dancers to be seen, in particular for her sensitive ear for music, her airiness, and her strenth."
-a critic about 15 year old Marie Anne de Cupis de Camargo
Marie was born in 1710 in Brussels, Belgium to her Spanish family. She was instructed in dance early on by Mlle Francoise Prevost, and made her first appearance on May 5, 1726 when she was 15 years old. She debuted in the Paris Opera ballet "Les caracteres de la danse", starting her dancing career.
In her debut, Marie was the first woman to execute the entrechat quatre, a jump where the dancer crosses his/her legs four times in the air. She also improved this jump in 1930. Marie also is said to have invented the 90 degree turnout. Another thing that she did to influence dance was to change the heeled shoes in ballet to slippers, and she also shortened her ballet skirt. Both of these changes were further used in ballet's future.
In 1734, Marie retired from dancing and became the mistress of the Comte de Clemont, but they never married. However, she returned to dancing for 10 years in 1741, and danced 78 ballets with great success. She retired for good from ballet in 1751 on a French government pension and died in 1770.
Still, Marie set a fashion during her time with her popularity in many art forms, not just dancing. There were many dishes in her name, including some of the chef Escoffier's most famous dishes: Souffle' a' la Camargo, Bombe Camargo, Filet de Bouef Camargo, and Ris de Veau grilles Camargo. There were also many paintings and portraits done of her, including one by Lancret titled Camargo. A Camargo ballet was created by Retipa and Minkus about the time when Marie and her sister were abducted by the Comte de metun in 1928. Two operas were also written about her, one by Enrico de Leva and the other by Charles Le Cocq. Finally, the Camargo Society was founded in London in 1930 in her name.