Carlo Blasis (1795-1878)
Carlo Blasis was a pedagogical theorist and dance teacher, who left an indelible mark on the development of ballet during the 19th century. Born in Milan, Italy, Blasis wrote several books about dance, including his influential The Code of Terpsichore . His analysis of the laws of the body, including alignment and balance, inform dance instruction today. It was Blasis who suggested that ballet classes begin with exercises at a barre, followed by centre work and culminating in allegro combinations travelling across the room. He is also credited with creating exercises that combined various steps known as "enchaînements".
Blasis was the director of Milan's Accademia di Ballo from 1837 until 1850. He later worked in Warsaw, Lisbon, Paris and Moscow. Although he was also an important choreographer, none of his ballets exist today.