Enrico Cecchetti was born in Rome in 1850. After training with Lepri in Florence he made his professional debut aged 16. At age 20 he performed as a principal dancer at La Scala In Milan. Successful seasons followed in St Petersburg and London with Cecchetti showing that he was master of both forms of ballet; virtuosity and mime. He created the roles of Carabosse and the Bluebird in Sleeping Beauty and had huge creative and choreographic input into the ballet Coppelia.
He began to teach while still dancing but it was Anna Pavlova who recognised his talent and hired him to be her teacher in 1906. Cecchetti taught Tamara Karsavina and Nijinsky while they were artists with Diaghilev's Ballets Russe and it was this which brought him to London in 1919 where he opened his school. Pupils included Dame Ninette de Valois, Marie Rambert and Margaret Craske. With Cyril Beaumont he recorded his teaching method before moving to Italy to become director of the ballet school at La Scala in Milan.
Enrico Cecchetti collapsed while teaching and died on November 11th 1928. His students, among them Margaret Craske, continued to teach his method.
St Hilda's Ballet School