Ballets By Enrico Cecchetti - Teaching

Teaching

Cecchetti also taught at the Imperial School in St. Petersburg from 1887 — 1902, and then the Warsaw State School in Poland from 1902 — 1905. Returning to St. Petersburg in 1905, he established a school there. From 1907-1909, he coached Anna Pavlova exclusively until dancers from the Maryinsky pleaded with him to open his classes to them again. When Sergei Diaghilev wanted his company, the Ballets Russes, to tour, the dancers refused because they would miss their daily classes with Cecchetti. An astute businessman, in 1910 Diaghilev hired Enrico for the dual roles of ballet master and mime. Cecchetti performed many mime roles which were created expressly for him by choreographers of the Ballets Russes.

Cecchetti's presence in Diaghilev's Ballets Russes was very important. He was the link between the past and the present, contributing to the birth of modern classical ballet. He also maintained the technical level of the dancers by enabling them to cope with the physical and dramatic challenges of the company's demanding choreographers. In addition to Cecchetti and the dancers, many other artists worked with the Diaghilev Ballets Russes: painters, set and costume designers Léon Bakst, Picasso, Jean Cocteau, and Henri Matisse; composers Claude Debussy, Manuel De Falla, Sergei Prokofiev, Maurice Ravel, and Igor Stravinsky. The Ballets Russes toured through Europe, the United States, South America, and Australia.

Having had enough of life on the road, Cecchetti settled in London, England where he opened a dance school in 1918. Considered the technical marvel of the ballet world, it was said that no one could become a finished ballet dancer without passing through Cecchetti's hands.

It is in the tradition of classical ballet that technique is passed on directly Enrico Cecchetti having been taught by Giovanni Lepri who was taught by Carlo Blasis and the line can be traced back to Beauchamp the first ballet master at the court of Louis X1V. So too the Cecchetti method has been passed on directly by his former pupils like Laura Wilson

In 1923, he returned to Italy to retire but was invited by Arturo Toscanini to resume his teaching career at La Scala, his lifelong dream. While teaching a class, Cecchetti collapsed and was taken home, where he died the following day, November 13, 1928.

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