Jody Sawyer: “Margot Fonteyn didn't have great feet."

Jonathan Reeves: “Well, when Margot Fonteyn was onstage, you couldn't tear your eyes away from her."

—Center Stage (2000)

YouTube wasn't yet invented when the movie Center Stage was released. But thanks to the wonders of the internet, we (who weren't lucky enough to see the great British ballerina in person) can observe exactly what Peter Gallagher's character was talking about.


Fonteyn appears with Rudolf Nureyev in this clip from Swan Lake, filmed at the Vienna State Opera in 1966. Whereas Act II's iconic White Swan pas de deux displays a tentative love blossoming between the swan queen and her prince, here—in the last act's pas de deux—there is more trust between them. And much more sadness. Siegfried has betrayed Odette, enchaining her in her curse. Fonteyn and Nureyev, as luminous as their reputations promise, dance as one: joined in the tragedy of their characters' impending fate.

Fonteyn and Nureyev's partnership began when she was 42 and he was just 23. Named a Dame of the Order of the British Empire in 1956, Fonteyn was also one of few people given the title "prima ballerina assoluta" in the 20th century. Nureyev's career spanned continents, TV screens and company roles. From 1983−1989, he served as director of the Paris Opéra Ballet, which still presents his restaging of classical ballets. Eminent dancers and public figures in their own right, together, they are transcendent. Happy #ThrowbackThursday!

Ballet Stars
Skylar Brandt and Josephine Lee. Screenshot Courtesy Lee.

Master pointe shoe fitter Josephine Lee of the California-based ThePointeShop chats with American Ballet Theatre soloist Skylar Brandt to hear about how she prepares her pointe shoes. We think Brandt might win an award for how long she makes her shoes last; watch the below video for the staggering number of days (or weeks!), and to hear about all of her unique customizations and pro tips.

Ballet Stars

English National Ballet star Alina Cojocaru was still a Royal Ballet principal in 2006 when she guest-starred in the Mariinsky Ballet's production of The Sleeping Beauty. And as this clip of her Aurora proves, she is indeed a vision in Act II's dream scene. Dancing alongside Andrian Fadeyev and Daria Pavlenko as Prince Désiré and the Lilac Fairy, the Romanian ballerina has an air of otherworldly majesty.

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Ballet Stars

A little over a month ago Roberto Bolle gave his final bow with American Ballet Theatre, though thankfully he's not saying goodbye to ballet altogether. After 10 years dancing as a principal with ABT while guesting around the world and at his home company La Scala Ballet, he's now planning to focus on his own galas and projects in Italy. A frequent face in those galas is Polina Semionova, a principal guest with Staatsballett Berlin (and also a former principal with ABT). Semionova and Bolle have danced together for years, and while Bolle is renown for his partnerships with many ballerinas, the two make an exceptionally elegant duo. Here they dance Vladimir Burmeister's Black Swan Pas de Deux at the 2007 Tchaikovsky Gala in Milan.

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