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The leading Italian ballerina of the last century, renowned for the high quality of her acting, and in fact she has been in films and television as a straight actor. Born in Milan on 20 August 1936, she studied at the La Scala Ballet School between 1946 and 1954. At La Scala she became a soloist in 1956 and principal in 1958. She has partnered the greatest of male dancers, including Rudolf Nureyev and Erik Bruhn.

It has been said that Carla Fracci è più leggera dell’aria, più lieve di un sospiro, "is lighter than air, softer than a sigh", and they have called her the "Duse of dance" and said she shows squisita evocazione del più puro stile romantico, "exquisite evocation of the pure romantic style".

Fracci appeared with many other companies, and became principal guest artist with American Ballet Theatre in 1967. She has directed the ballet companies of Naples in 1990-91, Verona in 1995-97, and currently Rome.

She starred as Verdi's wife Giuseppina Strepponi in the 1983 TV series The Life of Verdi, with Ronald Pickup, a superb historical drama featuring lots of wonderful music and singers. Carla Fracci acted beautifully in it, and didn't dance at all. Ballets she has appeared in films of include Giselle in 1969, opposite the Danish star Erik Bruhn, and Romeo and Juliet in 1982, with Fonteyn and Nureyev.

Among roles she created at La Scala are Juliet in John Cranko's new version of Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet.

Her parents were poor and she was delicate, and as they were unable to send her to gymnastics classes she was sent to ballet school instead (if I read the Italian aright), since it was free and she had the aptitude.

Photos and bio: www.ballerinagallery.com/fracci.htm
Quotes from: www.rtsi.ch/prog/RTSI/welcome.cfm?mpg=3583
Some fairly useless film databases
More bio in: www.elbasun.com/L_angolo_della_lettura/recensioni/Reno_Bromuro/index.htm

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