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La Scala Theatre Ballet School
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La Scala Theatre Ballet School

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Milan, Italy

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La Scala Theatre Ballet School is one of the leading classical ballet schools in the world and is the associate school of La Scala Theatre Ballet, an international ballet company based at La Scala in Milan, Italy. The school forms part of the theatre's Academy for Performing Arts.HistoryThe ballet school was founded in 1813 by Benedetto Ricci, as the Accademia di ballo of the Teatro alla Scala.Following the defeat of Napoleon, the school's name was changed to Imperial Regia Accademia di Ballo del Teatro alla Scala .For many years after its foundation the school offered two courses, of the total duration of eight years; the first consisted in apprenticeship, the second of specialization studies. The classes were accompanied by a violinist.Many famous dancers have been directors of the school. Among them, the famous Carlo Blasis, who joined the school in 1838 and directed it for 15 years, and the Italian ballerina Caterina Beretta, who was the school director from 1905 to 1908.Because of the first world War, the school was closed down in 1917; it was later reopened thanks to the interest of Arturo Toscanini. The famous Russian ballet dancer Olga Preobrajenska was appointed as the new school director.Enrico Cecchetti was director of the school until his death on November 13, 1928. He died whilst teaching. Following his recommendation, Cia Fornaroli, grande prima ballerina of the Theatre La Scala, was appointed as the school new director. She directed the school until 1932, when Ettorina Mazzucchelli took her place as the school director.

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