Who was she?
Margot Fonteyn, born as Margaret Evelyn Hookham, was a British ballerina and one of the greatest dancers of the 20th century. She was born on May 18, 1919 – this is why we chose today to publish this post!
Peggy, as she was known then, began dancing at a young age. She later trained at the Sadler’s Wells Ballet School in London, where she joined the company in 1934.
Fonteyn rose to international fame in the 1940s and 1950s, and is best known for her performances with Rudolf Nureyev, with whom she formed a legendary partnership in the 1960s. She was known for her exceptional technical skill, graceful movement, and expressive artistry.
Throughout her career, Fonteyn performed many of the most iconic roles in the classical ballet repertoire, including Giselle, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, and Romeo and Juliet. She was also an inspiration to many other dancers, and is credited with helping to popularize ballet in the United Kingdom and around the world.
Fonteyn was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1956, and continued to perform well into her 60s. She passed away on February 21, 1991, but her legacy as one of the greatest ballerinas of all time continues to inspire dancers and audiences around the world.
Margot Fonteyn performed in many ballets throughout her career, but there are several roles that she is particularly famous for. Some of her most iconic roles include:
Giselle: Fonteyn is widely regarded as one of the greatest interpreters of the role of Giselle, a young peasant girl who dies of a broken heart and becomes a ghostly spirit.
Swan Lake: Fonteyn was known for her exquisite portrayal of Odette/Odile, the white and black swan princesses in Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet.
The Sleeping Beauty: Fonteyn was renowned for her performance as Princess Aurora, the titular character in this fairy tale ballet.
Romeo and Juliet: Fonteyn was famous for her portrayal of Juliet, the tragic heroine of Shakespeare’s play, in Kenneth MacMillan’s ballet adaptation.
Marguerite and Armand: This ballet was created specifically for Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev, and tells the story of the doomed love affair between Marguerite Gautier and Armand Duval.
Fonteyn’s performances in these and other ballets cemented her place as one of the greatest ballerinas of all time, and her legacy continues to inspire dancers and audiences around the world.
She also signed all my ballet certificates, when I was training under Mrs Lilian Attard, which trained young dancers under the Royal Academy of Dance method.
You may find some more details by clicking the image below!