Margot Fonteyn

Active - 1947 - 2013  |   Born - May 18, 1919   |   Died - Feb 21, 1991   |   Genres - Dance, Theater

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Discovered in her teens by ballet dancer/choreographer Sir Frederick Ashton, Margot Fonteyn performed with such prestigious companies as Sadler's Wells and the Royal Ballet of Great Britain. Teamed with Ashton on-stage from the mid-'30s, she was instrumental in developing the "English" style of ballet, more reserved and refined than the accepted European school. On the verge of retirement in the early '60s, Fonteyn returned to the stage as the partner of Russian ballet artist Rudolph Nureyev. Despite their polar-opposite temperaments, Fonteyn and Nureyev matriculated into one of the greatest dance teams of the 20th century; their artistry has been preserved for generations to come in such "concert" films as Romeo and Juliet and Le Danseur. Retiring permanently in 1981, she spent her last decade coaching others in the ballet roles that had won her fame. Margot Fonteyn was the wife of Panamanian diplomat Roberto Arias, who in 1964 was permanently paralyzed in an assassination attempt.

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