Methods of Cecchetti and Vaganova
The art of ballet has been around for centuries. Starting in the courts of the Italian Renaissance, ballet has grown from a processional spectacle to a beautiful form of entertainment and art. There are several methods, techniques, and ideas that surround ballet. There are also staples in the development of ballet that really attributed to the art form and the way we use it today; the methods of Cecchetti and Vaganova. Enrico Cecchetti, an Italian ballet dancer, performer, and teacher, is the man behind the Cecchetti method of ballet. Born in a dressing room, Cechetti was the son of two dancers. He learned the foundations of ballet from his father and went on to train and dance in Saint Petersburg. He eventually became a teacher at the Imperial School and began to train top dancers. Upon death, his teachings were codified and are used to this day.
The Cecchetti method, practiced in places such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, is a “strict training system with special concern for anatomy within the confines of classical ballet technique, and seeks to develop the essential characteristics of dance in its students through a rigid training regime.” Within the Cecchetti method there is emphasis placed on specific concepts and ideas.It is important to be “self-reliant.” Not just repeating the movements you see from a teacher but be able to generate those movements from an internal, original place and execute them with precision and accuracy. The quality of movement and the execution of is significant, “Quality rather than quantity is the guiding rule.” “Within the Cecchetti method, it is also essential that both sides of the dancer are working, there is development across the entire body. The Cecchetti method has brought a wide variety of teachings across the board along with an effective class structure. Although the Cecchetti method has had a lasting influence, so have other methods such as the Vaganova method of ballet.
Agrippina Vaganova, a Russian ballet dancer and teacher, brought us the Vaganova method. Vaganova became a teacher of ballet in 1921. Vaganova also taught pedagogy. She was a teacher for 30 years and taught the importance of