Enrico Cecchetti, one of the world's outstanding teachers of ballet, established a system of passing on the tradition of ballet to future generations of dancers. This system, the Cecchetti method, was codified and recorded by Cyril Beaumont, Stanislas Idzikowski, Margaret Craske and Derra de Moroda. The method has a definite program of strict routine and includes a table of principal set daily exercises for each day of the week. The Cecchetti Society was formed in London in 1922 to perpetuate his method of teaching. In 1924 the Society was incorporated into the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. Entrance to the Society is by examination and students must pass through a carefully graded system which has done much to raise the standard of dancing and teaching throughout the British Empire.
The French School of ballet began in the court ceremonies of the French monarchs. Louis XIV studied with the famous ballet master Pierre Beauchamp and established the first academy of dancing, known as the Académie Royale de Musique et de Danse, in Paris in 1661. The École de Danse de l'Opéra was founded in 1713 and is now known as the École de Danse du Théâtre National de l'Opéra. Among its most famous ballet masters were Beauchamp, Pécour, Lany, Noverre, G. and A. Vestris, M. and P. Gardel, F. Taglioni, Mazilier, Saint-Léon, Mérante, Staats, Aveline and Lifar. The French School was known for its elegance and soft, graceful movements rather than technical virtuosity. Its influence spread throughout Europe and is the basis of all ballet training.
The Imperial Dancing Academy connected with La Scala in Milan was opened in 1812. Its greatest period began when Carlo Blasis, Italian dancer and teacher, became its director in 1837. Blasis published two textbooks, Treatise on the Art of Dancing and Code of Terpischore, in which he codified his teaching methods and all that was known of ballet technique. These books form the basis of our modern classical training. Blasis trained most of the famous Italian dancers ot the era, and his pupil Giovanni Lepri was the teacher of Enrico Cecchetti, one of the greatest teachers in the history of ballet. It was Cecchetti who brought the Italian School to its peak. The Italian School was known for its strong, brilliant technique and the virtuosity of its dancers, who astonished the audience with their difficult steps and brilliant turns.
(French: Méthodes [may-TAWD])
Academic ballet as we know it today came into being in the year 1661, when King Louis XIV of France founded the Académie Royale de Musique et de Danse. Although individual Milanese dancing-masters had been renowned since the fifteenth century, the permanent Imperial Dancing Academy connected with La Scala Theatre was not opened until 1812. The Academy at Milan influenced Paris and especially Russia through the rules of education drawn up by Carlo Blasis, who became director of the Academy in 1837 and rapidly made it the centre of ballet activity.
By the middle of the nineteenth century the ballet centres of the world had shifted from Paris and Milan to St. Petersburg and Moscow. The Russian School first derived its technique from France but by the middle of the nineteenth century it had acquired an international aspect through the influence of international artists. From the beginning of the second half of the nineteenth century Russian ballet was dominated by Marius Petipa, a Frenchman, and Christian Johannsen, a Swede. Then in 1874 Enrico Cecchetti, the last great exponent of the Italian School, arrived in Russia. These three men working on generations of Russian dancers developed Russian ballet, making it as much a system as Italian or French ballet. Actually the French method is in the greatest proportion in the Russian School.
The Russian School was founded in St. Petersburg in 1738 by the French dancerJean-Baptiste Landé. The French influence continued under such great teachers as Charles Le Picq, Charles Didelot, Christian Johanssen, Jules Perrot, Arthur Saint-Léon and Marius Petipa.
In 1885 Virginia Zucchi, a famous Italian ballerina, appeared in St. Petersburg and created a sensation with her forceful and brilliant Italian technique which differed from the soft, graceful elegance of the French technique prevalent in Russia until then. Other Italian dancers such as Enrico Cecchetti arrived in Russia and continued to astound the Russians with their amazing dexterity, brilliant pirouettes, tours and fouettés. The Russian dancers rapidly absorbed everything the Italians had to teach and incorporated it into the Russian system. Thus, the Russian School of Ballet is a development of the French and Italian Schools.
During the 1 920s the Russian ballerina and teacher Agrippina Vaganova developed a planned instructional system which later became known to the whole world as the Vaganova system. This svstem has become the basic method of the entire Soviet choreographic school.