2 3 Throwback Thursday and Luigi | Ballet Webb

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Throwback Thursday and Luigi

Throwback Thursday and Luigi

Louis Facciuto (Luigi) was a young professional dancer who moved to California in hopes of growing his career. But fate intervened. There a near-fatal car accident changed his life. He was paralyzed on the left side of his body and his eyes and vision were damaged. Doctors said he would never dance again.

Well! Undeterred, as soon as he was able he was back in the dance studio, struggling to regain his balance and coordination. He began at the barre, and progressed. But when he came into the center things didn't work as well. So he decided to take an imaginary barre with him. Thus he developed the idea of pushing down to go up, and lifting up from the top of the head.  Sound familiar?  These ideas – the idea of equal and opposite energy - became the foundation of Luigi’s technique (and many other techniques as well).

Luigi’s style has been described as classic and elegant. He worked with such famous faces as Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra, among many others. He performed in the dance chorus in over forty films such as An American in Paris, Singin’ in the Rain, and White Christmas.

In 1951 he began teaching, but he was still working in film, television and theater.  In 1956 he came to New York City to perform in the Broadway show Happy Hunting. He worked in three more Broadway shows before dedicating himself to teaching .

This month the world lost a great teacher, performer and human being when Luigi passed away on April 7, 2015. He was 90 years old. He left the world a great dance legacy. Not bad for someone who was told he would never dance again.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Dance History Factoid #66:  
Luigi was a famous jazz teacher who is credited with creating formal jazz technique.”

                Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
"If you keep doing things right long enough, they’ll get better right. But, if you keep doing things wrong long enough, they’ll feel right -- wrong."

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Want to know more about me?  Here is my interview on Ballet Connections:

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