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History of the Cecchetti Society of CanadaVeronica Tenant

The Canadian Branch of the Cecchetti Faculty of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing was founded in 1949 by Betty Oliphant, first ballet mistress of the National Ballet of Canada and co-founder with Celia Franca, of Canada’s National Ballet School.  The Society is federally incorporated as the Cecchetti Society of Canada and is a founding member of Cecchetti International Classical Ballet (CICB).  In January 2011, the Cecchetti Society became independent from the ISTD.

The Honorary Patron of the Cecchetti Society of Canada is the eminent Canadian performer, author, lecturer, and broadcaster, Veronica Tennant, C.C., LL.D.. Miss Tennant was Prima Ballerina of the National Ballet of Canada from 1964 to 1989. She speaks eloquently of the adaptability of the Cecchetti trained dancer:

"The Cecchetti technique was my 'A B C' of the ballet. Instilled in me was a vocabulary that made it possible to be - not only a literate dancer, but also an articulate one - capable of and curious to learn all the languages of the Dance.

"When I think of my early days in training to be a ballet dancer; I am grateful that the choices of 'style', 'form', 'lyricism', and 'attack', came from such an authentic and classical base as the one formulated by Maestro Cecchetti.

"When I think of the classical roles I cherished the most; Giselle, Les Sylphides, and Swan Lake, I realise that my schooling enabled me to dance them with pride. Yet it also gave me the technical confidence to embrace and interpret them as a creative dancer of the twentieth century. And then, to explore all techniques, all choreographic styles of dance, and, in particular, my love of dramatic roles - the Cranko repertoire and working with choreographers on fresh and uncharted works."

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