Muckety this! Napoleon Bonaparte to Martha Graham

By Rita Hall

June 24, 2008 at 10:39am

How is the 19th-century general who crowned himself emperor of France connected to the American dance impresario?

Napoleon’s defeat in 1815 at Waterloo at the hands of the British was financed, in large part by Nathan Mayer Rothschild, founder of the Rothschild banking dynasty in London, whose vast network of messengers carried the news of the Duke Wellington’s victory at Waterloo to the British government in London - a full day ahead of the government’s official messengers.

Rothschild’s brother, James, who opened up the Paris branch for the House of Rothschild in 1817, is the great-grandfather of Batsheva Rothschild. After fleeing Paris with her family during World War II, Batsheva Rothschild studied with Martha Graham in her dance studio in New York, becoming a friend and patron. After touring Israel with Graham’s company, she settled there in 1961, and went on to found two dance companies, the Batsheva Dance Company and the Bat-Dor Studio of Dance, both in Tel Aviv.

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