wow, she's gorgeous! - Cléopatra Diane de Mérode was the first woman to dance with a male partner in the Russian Ballet. She continued to dance until her early fifties and was very popular in her ancestral homeland of Austria, where she befriended the artist Gustav Klimt. Cléo de Mérode retired to Biarritz and died in 1966 at age 91 and is entombed at Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.
Creative Souls: Cleo de Merode, Beauty of le Belle Epoque~She was born Cleopatra Diane de Merode in Bordeaux, Paris, France in 1874. Her image was captured on post cards and playing cards which were widely collected. In 1896 after a scandal in Paris linking her as the King's mistress she went to dance ballet internationally. In the Russian Ballet she became the first ballerina to dance with a male partner.
Cléo de Mérode was a French dancer of the Belle Époque. She was renowned for her beauty and glamour, and was the subject of artists Gustav Klimt, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Felix Nadar, and Alexandre Falguiere.