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Morlacchi Has Left the Party

"Morlacchi has left the Buffalo Bill party, and is now dancing in "Humpty Dumpty," at the Olympic, New York. The Herald says she is the only truly great danseuse who has appeared since the days of Fanny Ellsler."

-Chicago Tribune, May 4, 1873.

Morlacchi as Dove Eye in The Scouts of the Prairie

At the end of April 1873, after four and a half months of touring as Dove Eye in The Scouts of the Prairie with Buffalo Bill Cody, Texas Jack Omohundro, and Ned Buntline, the Peerless Giuseppina Morlacchi left the show for a headling engagement on Broadway. Reviews were glowing.

"The evolutions of Morlacchi, in her exquisitely soft, poetic, and classic Terpsichorean displays," wrote the critic for the New York Herald, "beyond question illustrate the "poetry of motion" as nearly as the "human form divine" is capable. The danseuse is dreamy, delicious, and sylph-like in every pose and sault."

The woman who replaced Morlacchi in the show was Bessie Sudlow, a Liverpool-born burlesque performer. Sudlow received none of the praise heaped upon Morlacchi, and ticket sales suffered.

Bessie Sudlow

Ned Buntline and Buffalo Bill must have missed Morlacchi's contributions to the show and to their fortunes, but no one missed the peerless ballerina more than the cowboy Texas Jack. Four months after she left the Scouts of the Prairie, Morlacchi was performing in Rochester, New York. Jack showed up at the theater, asked her to marry him, and they were married that weekend. They remained together until his death.

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