The Cecchetti Council of America: A focus on the historical and administrative development of a dance organization
Tidwell, Kathleen Papovich
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A history of the Cecchetti Council of America was presented including the evolution of the organization, its purposes, and its goals. Demonstrated and documented was the role of the CCA in upgrading the teaching of ballet in the United States. A unique aspect of this study was the focus on the creation of the instrument (dancer) and artistic collaborator (teacher) for which the Cecchetti Method of Classical Ballet training is designed. We looked not only at the organization but at the role of dedicated individual teachers. Based on scrutiny of 37 years of minutes of the various boards of the CCA, letters, and other official documents, as well as selected oral history interviews, this study has opened an arena of historical dance research beyond that of biographies, companies, and choreographies by inaugurating research into organizations which contribute to the art form in different ways. Through this work, the role of the teacher within the dance organization has been highlighted emphasizing the link with pedagogues of the past and dancers of the future. Data related to the life of Cavalier Enrico Cecchetti were collected and a comprehensive biography was completed since it is his method of teaching ballet which the CCA was founded to perpetuate. A byproduct of this study was the collection and organization of materials related to the complicated, multilayered structure of the CCA. Donated to the Mary Evelyn Blagg Huey Library on the campus of Texas Woman's University, these documents have been accessioned by the Woman's Collection segment of Special Collection and now are available to researchers.