Fonteyn, Dame Margot

Sadler’s Wells Ballet publicity photograph from “Swan Lake” signed by the great classical English "prima ballerina assoluta"

Price: $185.00

Description:
(1919-1991) English ballerina, one of the greatest classical ballet dancers of all time. She spent her entire career as a dancer with The Royal Ballet, named "Prima Ballerina Assoluta" by Queen Elizabeth II. In 1933 she joined the Vic-Wells Ballet School, predecessor of today's Royal Ballet School. She rose quickly and by 1939 had performed principal roles in "Giselle", "Swan Lake", and "The Sleeping Beauty," and was appointed Prima Ballerina. She was most noted in Sir Frederick Ashton's ballets incl. "Ondine", "Daphnis and Chloe", and "Sylvia", especially renowned for her Aurora in "The Sleeping Beauty". Fonteyn also worked with choreographer Roland Petit and, later, Martha Graham. In 1949 when the Royal Ballet toured the US, she instantly became a celebrity. In the 40s she and Robert Helpmann formed a very successful dance partnership. In the 1950s, she danced regularly with Michael Somes; in 1955 they danced together in the 1st color telecast of a ballet, NBC's "The Sleeping Beauty". In 1958 they appeared together in the 1st British TV version of "The Nutcracker." Her greatest artistic partnership came after she was thought to be retiring. Rudolf Nureyev defected to the West, and on Feb. 21, 1962 he and Fonteyn first performed together in "Giselle"; she was 42, he 24. Their performance was a great success; during curtain calls Nureyev dropped to his knees and kissed her hand. They created an on-and-offstage partnership that lasted until her retirement in 1979 at 61, and were lifelong friends. Sir Frederick Ashton choreographed "Marguerite and Armand" for them, which no other couple danced until the 21st century. They debuted Kenneth MacMillan's "Romeo and Juliet" and appeared together in its film version and film versions of "Swan Lake", "Les Sylphides", and "Le Corsaire Pas de Deux." Nureyev and Fonteyn were close, famously loyal lifelong friends. In 1955 Fonteyn married Dr. Roberto Arias, a Panamanian diplomat in London. She was arrested when Arias attempted a coup against the Panamanian government in 1959. In 1964, a rival Panamanian politician shot Arias, leaving him a quadriplegic. After her retirement she lived in Panama, close to her husband and his children. Shortly before his 1989 death, she was diagnosed with terminal cancer and died in Panama City. She was awarded a DBE (Dame of the British Empire) in 1956 and was one of 5 "Women of Achievement" selected for a 1996 set of British stamps. SP, 10 x 8 ¾-length b&w glossy Hurok Attractions/Sadler’s Wells Ballet publicity photograph for Fonteyn’s appearance in “Swan Lake”, so identified on verso, signed as “Margot Fonteyn Arias”.

Condition: Very good
Type:Photograph






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