We The Italians | Italian entertainment: Dance is not feet and legs. It's head. In memory of Carla Fracci

Italian entertainment: Dance is not feet and legs. It's head. In memory of Carla Fracci

Italian entertainment: Dance is not feet and legs. It's head. In memory of Carla Fracci

  • WTI Magazine #140 Jun 18, 2021
  • 567

Ballet is an art that requires body, brain and spirit. A discipline in which working hard every single day with constancy and sacrifice is fundamental, in order to be graceful and fly on stage. Study, daily training and solid roots. These are all essential characteristics to have no hesitation on the scene and let yourself go, without weight.

This is how to portray Carla Fracci, the most important dancer in Italian history and one of the emblems of world ballet. An elegant woman, capable of reaching an ethereal dimension that no one has been able to embody better than her. Not only for the truth that she was able to tell on stage, but also for the enchanted magic that her refinement gave off also out of the scenes.

Carla Fracci was born in 1936 in the Lombardy countryside, from a tram driver father and a worker mother. She approached dance by chance, on the advice of a friend of her parents who saw her dancing in their living room. Thanks to her qualities and hard work, she was able to enter the ballet school of La Scala in Milan, where she met Margot Fonteyn. And this meeting will be decisive in her growth path, because it will show her step by step the way to go.

Thus began her journey on tiptoe, a life made up of more than 150 great interpretations, such as Giselle, who remains an icon of art. Giselle, in fact, was the character who fitted perfectly with her: in the role of a young peasant girl in love, with her hair down and a light tutu, she danced gracefully on stage. When she was only 19 years old, she made her debut in Cinderella at La Scala; in 1958, just three years later, she became "prima ballerina". This allowed her to have partners of absolute international level as Erik Bruhn or Rudolf Nureyev, teacher and friend. With the Russian dancer they will give a unique artistic experience, that for twenty years has enchanted the world. She has been also the muse of some of the best choreographers in the world.

Carla Fracci was not only dedicated to dance, but also to her family; to Beppe Melegatti, her beloved husband who composed many works for her, and to their son Francesco, whom she chose to have in the middle of her career. It was a revolutionary gesture of emancipation that completely unhinged the dogmas of the time, testifying to the great charisma that distinguished her.

Ms. Fracci was also able to donate her life to future generations, without reserve, until a tumor took her away at the age of 84, a few days ago. An illness that she had had for lots of years and that she lived with extraordinary dignity, working tirelessly to pass on to future generations the love for that art that this little girl from the countryside had always cradled within herself.

Every single Italian dancer of absolute level has passed by her advices, her lessons, her teaching. One of them, certainly is Roberto Bolle, to this day the most famous name in Italian dance, who followed her steps, also in the relationship with television that brought Fracci to be known and admired by the general public. Her humble roots, her popular nature made merit and sacrifice spur many to take up dancing.

Carla Fracci is a wonderful metaphor of the life of continuous research without ever arriving, to be lived to the full by working hard, in order to enjoy those few, small moments of extraordinary madness. In those instants everything is silent, astonished by the beauty of the moment, while the emotions follow one another in a vortex that the sinuosity of the gesture emanates. Thank you Carla, you have been, you are and you will always be the pride of this country. We can only applaud the last bow of the eternal dancing maiden.