(en-REE-koh cheh-KET-tee) (1850
) was an Italian
dancer and ballet master
born in Rome
, son of Cesare Cecchetti
and Serafina Casagli
. He was a student of Giovanni Lepri
who in turn was a student of the great Carlo Blasis
Cecchetti made his debut at La Scala, Milan in 1870, and premiered at the Maryinski Theatre in St. Petersburg in 1887, where he became second ballet master in 1890. In 1892 he became an instructor at the St. Petersburg Imperial Ballet School where his students included Anna Pavlova, Vaslav Nijinsky, Tamara Karsavina, Michel Fokine, Olga Preobrajenska, Mathilde Kchessinska and Lubov Egorova.
In 1902 he went to Warsaw to be the director of the Imperial School, and in 1905 he returned to Italy. Later the returned to Russia where he opened a private school and became the private tutor of Anna Pavlova.
From 1909 to 1918 he was the official instructor to the Diaghilev Ballet Company. From 1918 to 1923 he had a private school in London. Then back to Italy in 1925 to become ballet master at La Scala.
He devoted the rest of his life to teaching and perfecting his teaching methods, which today are famous as the Cecchetti Method.