Margot Fonteyn in Swan Lake (Dance Magazine Archives)
On this day in 1919, a tiny Margaret Hookham was born in Reigate, England. Today, however, we know her as Dame Margot Fonteyn. Or Royal Ballet Prima Ballerina Assoluta Margot Fonteyn. Or simply one of the most timeless, most elegant, most famous ballerinas of the 20th Century.
Fonteyn first joined the Royal Ballet (then known as the Vic-Wells Ballet) in 1935, and by 1939, she was performing principal roles. She's perhaps most known for her partnership with Rudolf Nureyev, though their first performance wasn't until 1962, toward the end of Fonteyn's illustrious 40-year career.
Fonteyn died in 1991, but her legacy continues through the many ballets created on her (including the title role in Sir Frederick Ashton's Cinderella) and, of course, on YouTube. There aren't a ton of videos to get lost in, but a few clips are must-sees for any dancer.
Start with an excerpt of Fonteyn and Nureyev in Swan Lake:
Then watch the famous duo in a Le Corsaire pas de deux:
And finally, feast your eyes on Fonteyn and Nureyev in Les Sylphides:
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
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Isabella Boylston in "The Bright Stream" (Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy American Ballet Theatre)
Beloved by ballet fans for her lucid technique and onstage effervescence, by her Instagram followers for the deftly curated photos and videos she shares of her glamorous life, and by fangirl Jennifer Garner for all of the above, American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston is one of the rare ballet stars who's achieved mainstream fame. A native of Sun Valley, ID, Boylston trained at the Academy of Colorado Ballet and the Harid Conservatory before joining the ABT Studio Company in 2005. She entered the main company as an apprentice in 2006, and attained principal status in 2014. In addition to her successes with ABT, where she dances nearly every major ballerina role, Boylston has served as artistic director of the annual Ballet Sun Valley Festival, which brings high-level performances and classes to her hometown. And speaking of famous Jennifers: Boylston recently appeared as Jennifer Lawrence's dance double in the film Red Sparrow. Catch her onstage with ABT as Manon, Odette/Odile, and Princess Aurora during the company's Metropolitan Opera House season this summer in NYC. —Margaret Fuhrer