Cia Fornaroli


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(b Milan, 16 Oct. 1888; d New York, 16 Aug. 1954)

Italian dancer and teacher. She studied at the La Scala Ballet School and with Cecchetti, and after performing minor roles in the ballets of Manzotti became prima ballerina at New York's Metropolitan Opera Ballet (1910–14). Between 1914 and 1916 she guested in Barcelona, Madrid, and Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires, then moved to Teatro Costanzi in Rome (1916–20). She was appointed prima ballerina assoluta at La Scala, Milan (1921–33), her musically expressive dancing making her the most highly regarded Italian ballerina of her generation. She also guested in various European theatres and danced with Pavlova's company as well as appearing in Italian silent films. In 1929 she succeeded Cecchetti as director of the La Scala School and in 1933 began to create her own ballets. Due to Fascist attacks on her husband, Dr Walter Toscanini, she was forced to leave Italy for New York where she became ballet mistress at Ballet Theatre in 1940 and ran her own school (1944–66). After her death her husband handed over their collection of dance memorabilia to the Dance Collection of the New York Public Library.

Subjects: Dance.

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