Here at the Castlereagh School of Performing Arts we teach the Cecchetti Syllabus. I love the Cecchetti syllabus. I really do. No other syllabus has such a balance between strength and artistry. It has a focus on the development on line through the body, incorporating the head. In my opinion, it is the hardest syllabus to master but radiates beauty in strength for women, as well as virtuosic strength for men.
Maestro Cecchetti lived from 1850 to 1928. He was born in the costuming room of the Teatro Tordinona in Rome, Italy. After an illustrious career as a dancer in Europe, he went to dance in Russia, where he further honed his skills. Cecchetti was praised for his agility and strength in his performances, as well as his technical abilities in dance. By 1888, he was widely accepted as the greatest ballet virtuoso in the world. He was the original Blue Bird in Petipa’s Sleeping Beauty.
In the tradition of classical ballet, techniques and parts are taught directly, person to person. The technique was passed on directly to Enrico Cecchetti, as he was taught by Giovanni Lepri, who in turn was taught by Carlo Blasis and the line can be traced back to Beauchamp the first ballet master at the court of Louis X1V.
He was the ballet Master for Diaghilev’s Ballet Russe, teaching some of the greatest dancers including Anna Pavlova and so the Cecchetti method was developed. It’s born of the stage, honed in the studio. Basic positions and body placements relate directly to being in front of an audience, presenting the best lines.
The video is of an adage from the Advanced 2 exam class. While it is performed by a male it is not a men’s excercise. It is one of seven adages performed by men and women in Advanced 2. In fact, I do it every week. An adage steeped in ballet history that has to be seen to be appreciated.