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Luigi Facciuto, Dance Teacher to Broadway Stars, Dies at 90

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Willimus

It is with a heavy heart hat I make this post. I was invited by the moderators to make a post on this thread, as I was a student of the legendary Luigi for nearly 30 years. Although I was primarily ballet trained, I began my dance studies with Luigi, and he was single handedly responsible for my career.

 

I began dancing, as a recreational dancer, in my 20's. It never occurred to me that I could dance professionally, as I was starting so late, but I was told that Luigi taught beginners...and so I went to Luigi. After a few months, he told me "it's not too late for you". After a year of Luigi classes twice a day, every day, I added ballet and modern, and in less than 3 years I had my first contract. Although I mainly studied ballet for the rest of my career, I still took class with Luigi a few times a week....for the rest of my dancing life.

 

He was, without a doubt, the most brilliant teacher I ever encountered in any dance form. Many people have commented that I was the last dancer to really "get it" and I "got it" directly from him when he was in his 60's and still teaching and dancing well. Without his training, I would never have become the dancer I was, or the teacher I am. First and foremost, the great Luigi taught beginners. In fact, he farmed out then"advanced classes" to assistants and guest teachers. but every morning, Monday through Saturday, Luigi taught his "style class" (which was essentially a slow advanced beginner class) and it was in that class that he passed on his method. His technique is a codified training method...not a class where students follow center warm up and then learn a piece of choreography (as in most jazz classes). I am honored that Luigi certified me to teach his technique.

 

Although I teach ballet primarily (I teach two Luigi classes a week, the rest are ballet) everything I do in those ballet classes is influenced by HIS teaching. How the body works, how to use epaulment, how the torso is carried, how the rib cage is held, how the arms connect to the back, how to create a beautiful port de bras, or a long line that goes on forever, how to feel the music, how to phrase, how to "dance from the inside", how to "Feel first, then do", and how to "Never Stop Moving"...all from the brilliance of his teaching. He will be deeply missed.

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lsu

Thank you Willimus for this wonderful tribute to Luigi. I am so sorry for your loss and I know that you will always carry Luigi in your heart.

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mom2

I echo lsu's words completely.

 

Thank you Willimus for telling us about your mentor Luigi.

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dancemaven

I am sorry for his passing and for your loss, Willimus. I have a friend who was also a student of Luigi's and considered him a close mentor. She would go every year to take class with him and improve her teaching. I know he will be greatly missed. He touched so many and thus, was a great man.

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Victoria Leigh

Indeed a great man, and a great loss for the dance world. How fortunate you were to work with him so closely, Willimus. Every dancer I have have known who had the privilege of working with him has said the same things you have so eloquently stated for us, and I would say that Luigi was most certainly one of the very few true MASTER teachers.

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Redbookish

Thank you, Willimus, for such a wonderful tribute and insight into a master teacher (a 'guru' in the true sense of the word). In dance, the inheritance is always so very personal and intimate: we carry their teaching & ideas in our bodies.

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vrsfanatic

Dear Willimus I am so sorry for your loss and the loss of the great Luigi to the dance world. While I never met him, I have heard only wonderful things about his teaching. May his teachings be remembered by all and passed along honestly to others.

It is not easy writing a tribute to a mentor. You have done a wonderful job.

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Clara 76

It is through you and others who were as blessed to have studied with him that his work shall be continued. Thank you, Willimus.

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Willimus

Thank you all for your thoughtful comments and posts. Redbookish: what a beautiful thought...I never thought of it in those terms...but so true!

One of the things that I forgot to mention: taking class with Luigi was a joyous event! The energy in that classroom was infectious. He was funny, he was exciting , he was full of joy, he loved his students, and teaching them was his life. I didn't feel like I was dancing...it was like I was exploding across the floor, filling the room with my energy...I never felt that way in anyone else's class. It was magic!

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Momof3darlings

So sorry for your loss. But thank you so much for your kind words and story of your experiences with him.

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Ludmilla

Willimus- I offer my condolences, too. Everything you have said about Luigi and your own experiences studying with him and having his guidance have been both inspiring, and memorable.

As Redbookish and others said above, he lives on in you and your work, and in his timeless, beautiful spirit and wisdom that sometimes express with a wink and a smile, recalling some amazing things about him you have recounted here at BT.

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