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Giuseppe Canziani

Dancer, ballet master
Born: Venice, Italy - 1750
Died: ? - 1792

Giuseppe Canziani had worked as a dancer and ballet master in several Italian theaters before he moved to St. Petersburg in Russia. From 1784 to 1792, Canziani taught dancing in the St. Petersburg Imperial Theater School. It has been said that thanks to Canziani Russian, dancers were not only taught how to move and perform on scene but were also exposed to the greater European trends in the art of ballet. One of Canziani's students was Ivan Valberkh, the first Russian ballet master. Canziani was a strong supporter of the ideology that there should be a differentiation made between the ballet artist, a drama actor and an actor of musical theater. He claimed that they are different specialisations and thus required totally different approaches. However, his opinion was not shared with Count Nikolay Yusupov, Director of the Imperial Theatres, and Canziani was dismissed. While in St. Petersburg, he also choreographed ballets to scores by Carlo Canobbio, and took part in the production of the opera The Early Reign of Oleg, to a libretto in Russian by Catherine the Great.

Works: Alcide al bivio (1780), Ariadne and Bacchus (1789), Don Juan (1790)

Connected with: Ivan Valberkh, Angiolini Gasparo, Carlo Connobio, Giuseppe Sarto, Charles Le Picq

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