Enrico Cecchetti was born in Rome in 1850. He was born in a theatre dressing room to parents who were dancers. His dancing career took him to Russia where in 1890 he created the role of Bluebird in Petipa’s Sleeping Beauty. He impressed the audience with his virtuosity and dancers are still challenged by the choreography today. In addition to his impressive leaps and batterie he was also an excellent mime performing the role of Caraboss in addition to Bluebird.
Cecchetti taught some of the biggest names in ballet history including Anna Pavlova (pictured). His influence is integral to British Ballet since he taught Ninette de Valois who founded the Royal Ballet. He also taught Phyllis Bedells who was a founding member of the RAD.
In 1922 dance theorist Cyril Beaumont codified Cecchetti’s method; a technical manual that teachers still refer to today. Beaumont was also instrumental in founding the Cecchetti Society with the purpose to maintain the Cecchetti method and to ensure it would be passed on to future ballet teachers. In 1924 the Cecchetti Society was absorbed into the ISTD. Today the ISTD promotes the Cecchetti method as a syllabus-based series of graded examinations accredited by Ofqual. The grades are taught by registered teachers around the world.