Carla Fracci ([ˈkarla ˈfrattʃi]; born 20 August 1936, Milan) is an Italian ballet dancer and actress. Thanks to her extensive career and her acclaimed interpretation of several classical romantic ballets such as La Sylphide, Fracci became one of the most experienced and recognized interpreters of Romantic ballets. “As Erik Bruhn once said, [Fracci] gave the world a new idea of the ballerina in 19th-century Romantic ballets.” Her career highlights include Nijinsky, Giselle (American Ballet Theatre), Complete Bell Telephone Hour Performances: Erik Bruhn 1961-1967.
She was best known for her performances in Giselle, and for dancing with partners such as Rudolf Nureyev, Vladimir Vasiliev, Henning Kronstam, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Alexander Godunov, Gheorghe Iancu, Giuseppe Picone, Roberto Bolle, and Erik Bruhn. In 2014, Fracci took part in documentary film, 29200 Puthod, l'altra verità della realtà, directed by Federico Angi biography of Dolores Puthod international painter.
Born in Milan in 1936, Fracci began dancing at age of 10 at the La Scala Theatre Ballet School and graduated in 1954. Among her teachers at La Scala, Fracci studied with the prominent Russian dancer Vera Volkova. She was promoted to soloist in 1956, and to principal in 1958. Other ballet companies she appeared with include: the London Festival Ballet (1959 & 1962), the Royal Ballet (1963), the Stuttgart Ballet (1965), and the Royal Swedish Ballet (1969). She was a principal guest artist with American Ballet Theatre from 1967.
Starting in the late 1980s, she directed numerous major ballet companies in Italy: first was the ballet company of the Teatro San Carlo in Naples. From 1996 to 1997 she directed Verona Arena Ballet Company. From November 2000 she directed the Teatro Dell’Opera di Roma Ballet Company, where she continued until 2010. There she follows the Opera’s traditional repertoire, as well as Diaghilev’s works for the Ballets Rousses. The work at the Rome Opera’s ballet ranges from Millicent Hudson’s adaptation of The Rite of Spring to Andris Liepa’s versions of Shéhérazade, Petruška and The Firebird.
From June 2009 to 2014 she was nominated Culture Assessor for the Province of Florence.
In 1983, 2000, and 2003, Fracci was awarded three prestigious honors from the Italian Government, acknowledging her meritorious achievements.
Her autobiography, Passo dopo passo. La mia storia, was published in December 2013, and received extremely positive reviews as the memoir is written with a humble tone that never sounds pompous and self-celebrant. In the autobiography, besides describing her incredible artistic path, Fracci shares details of her personal life starting from her childhood and her first dance experiences.
On 16 October 2004, Fracci was named Goodwill Ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger.