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Italian ballet

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Title: Italian ballet  
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Subject: Ballet, The Loves of Mars and Venus, Antonio Monticini, Nightingale (ballet), Stephen Mills
Collection: Ballet in Italy, Ballet Styles, History of Ballet
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Italian ballet

Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova being taught the Cecchetti method by renowned Italian ballet teacher Enrico Cecchetti.

Italian ballet is the training methods and aesthetic qualities seen in classical ballet in Italy. Italy has a long history with ballet, and it is widely believed that the earliest predecessor of the modern dance form originated in the Italian courts of the Renaissance, before becoming popularised in France. Today, Italian ballet is recognised for two leading methods, the Cecchetti method, devised by Enrico Cecchetti and the training system of the La Scala Theatre Ballet School, the country's most prestigious professional ballet school.


  • History (origins of il ballo, or ballet) 1
  • Notable companies & schools 2
  • Notable Italian dancers 3
  • References 4

History (origins of il ballo, or ballet)

Ballet began during the

  1. ^ Kirstein (1952), p. 4.
  2. ^ The Ballet
  3. ^ Andros On Ballet - De Medici Catherine
  4. ^ Bland (1976), p. 43.
  5. ^ Frances A. Yates, _The French Academies of the Sixteenth Century_, 2nd ed. (London: Routledge, 1988)
  6. ^ Thoinot Arbeau, _Orchesography_, trans. by Mary Steware Evans, with notes by Julia Sutton (New York: Dover, 1967)
  7. ^ "BALLET 101: A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving the Ballet by Robert Greskovic". 
  8. ^ Lee (2002), p. 29.
  9. ^ Anderson (1992), p. 32.
  10. ^ Homans (2010), p. 207.
  11. ^ Hansell (1980), Opera and Ballet, p. 200.


Notable Italian dancers

Notable companies & schools

At first, ballets were woven in to the midst of an opera to allow the audience a moment of relief from the dramatic intensity. By the mid-seventeenth century, Italian ballets in their entirety were performed in between the acts of an opera.[10] Over time, Italian ballets became a more beloved and important part of theatrical life: ballet companies in Italy's major opera houses employed an average of four to twelve dancers; in 1815 many companies employed anywhere from eighty to one hundred dancers.[11]

as a centre of technical ballet development. Italy, a technical manual on court dancing, both performance and social, helped to establish Il Ballarino's Fabritio Caroso In the same year, the publication of [9] (ballet drama).ballet comique (1581) and was a Ballet Comique de la Reine's Balthasar de BeaujoyeulxBallet, if not the first, produced and shown was Baldassare de Belgiojoso's balletto comico, also known as

Domenico da Piacenza was one of the first dancing masters. Along with his students, Antonio Cornazzano and Guglielmo Ebreo, he was trained in dance and responsible for teaching nobles the art. Da Piacenza left one work: De arte saltandi et choreus ducendi (On the art of dancing and conducting dances), which was put together by his students.[8]

A ballet of the Renaissance was a far cry from the form of theatrical entertainment known to audiences today. Tutus, ballet slippers and pointe work were not yet used. The choreography was adapted from court dance steps.[6] Performers dressed in fashions of the times. For women that meant formal gowns that covered their legs to the ankle.[7] Early ballet was participatory, with the audience joining the dance towards the end.


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