The Cecchetti method is a Classical ballet training method devised by the Italian ballet master Enrico Cecchetti (1850-1928),and it is widely adopted both by the RAD and Vaganova Schools.
Unlike the Vaganova system that is credited for augmenting classical ballet with its distinctive high extensions, dynamic turns, and jumps, Cecchetti is focused on perfecting basic ballet positions and movements.
History of Ballet records that it began first in Italy in the Italian Renaissance court !1700-1500) as an outgrowth of court pageantry. Catherine de' Medici, an Italian aristocrat with an interest in the arts, married the French crown heir Henry II, she brought her enthusiasm for dance to France where it flourished.
The French went on to codify the 5 basic Ballet feet positions add 7 movement in the 1600-1700 period which is why Ballet terms are French (a few are Italian). The Académie Royale de L’Danse was formed in Paris in 1661 by Louis XIV to teach courtiers to dance and prepare ballets for the court. In 1725, dancing master Pierre Rameau credited the codification of these five positions of the feet to choreographer and dancer Pierre Beauchamp.
Cecchetti had his formative ballet training in the French tradition but was exposed to different techniques and styles of ballet in professional career as a dancer. He experimented with these various styles, fusing the best elements of each to create his own ballet technique that ultimately developed into the Cecchetti method. The Cecchetti Method was codified into a training technique with printed syllabus in 1922. Cyril W. Beaumont, a British writer, dance historian and a close friend of Cecchetti and, collaborated on this project.
The Cecchetti Method of Classical Ballet, became the foremost reference for Cecchetti method to teachers worldwide. Cecchetti gave Beaumont permission to established the Cecchetti Society to maintain the method and ensure that it would be passed on to future ballet teachers. Branches of the Cecchetti Society were subsequently established around the world, most notably in Australia, South Africa, Canada and the US and they continue to flourish today. Like the RAD the Associations certifies teachers and organises graded examination for student, Unlike the RAD grading system differ between Associations in different countries.
The key characteristic of the Cecchetti method is the adherence to a rigid training regime, designed to develop a virtuoso technique, with the dancer studying and experimenting to gain a complete understanding of the theory behind the movement, enabling them to internalise each activity and to reproduce them flawlessly at the right time. Cecchetti dancers are in this respect self-reliant and do not just imitate their teachers
What premier student will achieve through their Cecchetti Exposure?
Learn the different nuances in ballet positions and movements referred often Cechetti's comprehensive vocabulary of movement that include its well known 40 adagios and 8 port de bras.
Cultivate the discipline of practicing a prescribe set of exercise each day balance, poise, strength, elevation, and elasticity
Gain knowledge of the concepts and theories of movement and laws of anatomy to understand movement relation to the whole body, enhance awareness of their body line while dancing.
Learn to dance by understanding the physics of the move rather than imitating the teacher
Imbibe the Cecchetti principle of Quality vs Quantity. It's better to execute an exercise correctly once, than to do it a dozen time carelessly.
Through these achievements, student will
Develop a discipline towards learning that will enhance their dance and in all aspects of their lives
Cut out fussiness and extravagance in their moves.
Fine-tune their dance moves, gain fast footwork, clean lines, smooth transitions.
Knead and shape their bodies to bear the strains and trails of public appearance and to fit their muscles and tendons and nerves to respond readily to whatever steps and movements might be required