The Ballet Studio Glasgow HistoryThe Studio has been located since 1983 in the lower portion of No. 1 Great Western Terrace, constructed in the 1860s and designed by Alexander “Greek” Thomson. It is described by his biographer Professor Gavin Stamp as “the grandest terrace in Glasgow”. The city’s greatest collector, Thomas Burrell for a time resided there.


The style of ballet taught at the Studio is the Cecchetti method, named after Enrico Cecchetti, born in a dressing room of a theatre in Rome on 21st June 1850. He was trained by his father Cesare Cecchetti and then by Gionanni Lepri, both pupils of Carlo Blasis.

Enrico made his debut at the age of 20 on the stage of La Scala Milan. He grew to be considered the finest dancer of his time and received rave reviews and accolades throughout his career, being renowned for his brilliant batterie, amazing leaps and multiple pirouettes. His technique was astounding and his gift of mime unsurpassable. At the height of his career, he migrated to St Petersburg, where he created the dual role of the Bluebird and Carabosse aged 40, and taught at the Imperial School from 1887 to 1902.

From 1907 to 1909 he taught Anna Pavlova exclusively before being persuaded by former pupils to reopen his school. When Diaghilev wished to take his company, The Ballet Russes, on tour, his dancers refused to go as they would miss daily classes with Cecchetti, so he hired Enrico as Maitre de Ballet and the Diaghilev Company came to Western Europe.

In 1918, tired of travelling, Cecchetti opened a school in Shaftesbury Avenue, though he still performed with the Diaghilev Company. Dancers flocked to his classes. In 1923, he returned to Italy to retire, but was invited to teach at La Scala, which had been his lifetime dream. While teaching class, he collapsed and died the following day,13th November 1928.

The Cecchetti Society was founded in 1922 by Cyril Beaumont, the writer, ballet historian and critic. In 1924 the Cecchetti Society became affiliated to the The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. Branches of the Society have been formed throughout the world and flourish in Australia, South Africa, Canada and the USA and throughout Europe. Among the dancers influenced by Cecchetti were Vaslav Nijinsky, Ninette de Valois, Marie Rambert, Alicia Markova, George Balanchine, Darcey Bussell, Francesca Hayward and Bethany Kingsley Garner. After observing students at the Royal Ballet School, Frederick Ashton wrote: “the study of Cecchetti’s port de bras inculcates a wonderful feeling for line and correct positioning which will be of incalculable use throughout a dancer’s career.”


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