The Cecchetti method is a ballet technique and training system devised by the Italian ballet master and pedagogue Enrico Cecchetti (1850–1928). The training system is especially concerned with anatomy within the confines of classical ballet technique, and seeks to develop the essential characteristics of dance in its students through a rigid training regime. The goal is for the student to learn to dance by studying and internalising the basic principles, in an effort to become self-reliant rather than imitating the movements executed by their teacher.
Cecchetti-trained dancers have achieved places in ballet and dance companies all over the world. Well-trained Cecchetti dancers have a purity of line and simplicity of style which enables them to take their places in dance companies of other genres of classical ballet.
The Cecchetti teaching method was vital in the development of Classical Ballet in the United Kingdom and contributed heavily to modern-day British teaching methods. Enrico Cecchetti and his wife opened a ballet school in London in 1918, and his pupils included some of the most influential names in British Ballet, many also influencing ballet throughout the world.
Dame Marie Rambert was a former pupil and colleague of Cecchetti, who also established a professional ballet school teaching his methods. This led to the formation of the UK's first ballet company, which survives today as the country's oldest established dance company, although it is now known as Rambert Dance Company and specialises in contemporary dance. The school also remains and is known as the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance.
Dame Ninette de Valois was a colleague of Cecchetti during her professional career with the Ballets Russes. She established The Royal Ballet in London, with many of the companies early dancers being pupils of Cecchetti. The Cecchetti method was also favoured by de Valois when she formed the Royal Ballet School.