Cecchetti Legacy Fundraising Project

Filming of the Diploma Work1

Filming of the Diploma WorkThe legacy of Enrico Cecchetti is unique and the Cecchetti Society has long wanted to be able to record the most advanced Cecchetti work for future generations, but such a project is ambitious and expensive. The project aim is to film the Diploma work in a heritage DVD. As well as being a vital teaching support for Cecchetti teachers and students, the DVD will be an accessible resource for anyone wishing to learn more about the rich Cecchetti legacy.

The Society is greatly indebted to a small group of very generous Cecchetti ‘friends’ – the Cecchetti Legacy 2Fundraising Group – who have already raised some £30,000. Together with support from the Cecchetti Trust, this initial amount means that the major undertaking of filming of the Diploma work can begin.   Whilst the fund raising efforts for this exciting project have been fantastic – there is still more to do!  A programme of fundraising events is being planned and details will be posted on this page.  If you would like to make a donation to the Legacy Project a form can be downloaded from the right hand column. Any amount you can contribute will be greatly appreciated.

Salon Evening

An event held in June 2013 in front of invited guests to launch the Cecchetti Legacy Project. The evening comprised a panel of luminaries from the world of British ballet who presented their impressions of the impact of the Cecchetti method on the world of ballet.

“In 1948/49 my twin sister and I studied for our dance degrees at the Arts Educational School in London.  Alongside the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus we were introduced to the Cecchetti Dance Method. While I later danced in many shows, at the Palladium and other London theatres, I was sure that if I ever decided to teach dance it would be the Cecchetti Dance Method that I would follow. It has a purity of line, a simplicity and a musicality that makes it ideal for children, yet at the same time Cecchetti trained dancers have been successful in dance companies all over the world.

After 50 years running my own school at the Farnham Maltings  (now run by the talented  Aurelia Whitfield)I remain convinced that I made the right decision, and I believe that all the children I have taught over the years would agree.

Priscilla de Meric”

“It was an evening to remember, in more ways than one. When Mrs. Whitfield and I arrived at the beautiful 18th century house in Kensington and made our way upstairs,  a growing crowd of dancers, teachers and benefactors  was enjoying a glass of bubbly, a canapé and a chat.

The Cecchetti Legacy Project was described by Diane Van Schoor, former Ballet Principal of the Royal Ballet Lower School, White Lodge. Part of the plan is to  coach  dancers from the Royal Ballet’s two Companies in the Final Diploma examination work- the highest level in the Cecchetti syllabus. This Diane is currently doing, whenever they have spare time in their busy schedules. The results will be professionally videoed this autumn.

The Maestro evolved his method of teaching while working with the leading dancers of the Russian ballet, such as Anna Pavlova, so it is fitting that today’s company dancers will be performing the work. To see the key sequences of the Cecchetti Method danced at this standard will be a valuable and inspiring document for dancers and teachers alike. Diane also mentioned that the dancers involved were already finding the work enormously valuable in their own performing careers.

The distinguished Cecchetti teacher, Richard Glasstone then asked former ballerina Darcey Bussell about her early Cecchetti training . Darcey, as charming and informal as ever, freely admitted that she did not get a high mark for her first exam and had to work hard to co-ordinate her long arms and legs. The Cecchetti principles gave her strength,  enabled her to put enchainements together, and to carry her arms with style and flow during fast jumps and turns.

Most of all, when she entered the professional world of the Royal Ballet Company, that training proved extremely useful, for learning learn the company repertoire and in applying  herself to new choreography.  As we know, she quickly rose from the corps de ballet when chosen by Kenneth MacMillan to dance Belle Rose in his version of The Prince of the Pagodas, and eventually became one of our most celebrated English ballerinas.

Dame Monica Mason summed up the evening: the project is expensive to mount and run but the need for it is extremely urgent if Cecchetti’s classical wisdom and experience, in its highest form, is to be passed down for the benefit of future generations of aspiring dancers and dance-makers.

Angela Hardcastle”