Fonteyn

Fonteyn

[fon-teyn]
Fonteyn, Dame Margot, 1919-91, English ballerina. Fonteyn was for many years prima ballerina assoluta of the Royal Ballet. Her original name was Margaret Hookham. In 1934 she joined the Sadler's Wells Ballet School, and in the same year she made her debut as a soloist. She became prima ballerina of the Vic-Wells Ballet in 1935. Fonteyn gained a reputation for expressive acting and versatility, creating such roles as Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty and Agathe in Les Demoiselles de la Nuit. Her performances in Cinderella, Giselle, Sylvia, and The Firebird were also outstanding. Sir Frederick Ashton created a number of major ballets especially for Fonteyn, among them Symphonic Variations (1946) and Ondine (1958). She was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1956. Fonteyn's international reputation reached an unprecedented height after 1962, when she began her partnership with the Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev.

See her autobiography (1976); biographies by K. Money (1974) and M. Daneman (2004).

orig. Margaret Hookham

Margot Fonteyn in Ondine.

(born May 18, 1919, Reigate, Surrey, Eng.—died Feb. 21, 1991, Panama City, Pan.) British ballerina. She debuted with the Vic-Wells Ballet (later Royal Ballet) in 1934 and soon became its leading dancer, creating many roles in works by Frederick Ashton, including Horoscope, Symphonic Variations, and Ondine. In the 1960s she won worldwide acclaim for her appearances with Rudolf Nureyev in ballets such as Swan Lake, Raymonda, and Le Corsaire. She continued to dance as a guest artist into the mid 1970s.

Learn more about Fonteyn, Dame Margot with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Margaret Hookham

Margot Fonteyn in Ondine.

(born May 18, 1919, Reigate, Surrey, Eng.—died Feb. 21, 1991, Panama City, Pan.) British ballerina. She debuted with the Vic-Wells Ballet (later Royal Ballet) in 1934 and soon became its leading dancer, creating many roles in works by Frederick Ashton, including Horoscope, Symphonic Variations, and Ondine. In the 1960s she won worldwide acclaim for her appearances with Rudolf Nureyev in ballets such as Swan Lake, Raymonda, and Le Corsaire. She continued to dance as a guest artist into the mid 1970s.

Learn more about Fonteyn, Dame Margot with a free trial on Britannica.com.

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