Ballet Stars

#TBT: Margot Fonteyn in “Cinderella” (1957)

Margot Fonteyn in Sir Frederick Ashton's Cinderella. Louis Peres, courtesy DM Archives.

Dame Margot Fonteyn, The Royal Ballet's legendary prima ballerina assoluta, is an icon of elegance and refinement—and her remarkable theatricality still sets her apart. In this short clip from a 1957 television broadcast of Sir Frederick Ashton's Cinderella, she channels easy grace into the title character's giddy, girlish dreams of going to the ball.

Margot Fonteyn Cinderella excerpt www.youtube.com


As she descends the stairs and discovers she's alone in the house at last, Fonteyn's face lights up with glee. With only a broom as her partner, Fonteyn spins through the rooms, bringing vivid life to the scene with musicality, expression and natural stage instincts. While one moment she's content with her imaginary fun, the next she is clearly overcome with disappointment that she's not at the real ball. At 2:00, determined to distract herself, Fonteyn begins a solo of dizzying footwork. She springs with lithe precision to Prokofiev's tune, until at last she dives into her pretend prince's arms. Happy #ThrowbackThursday!

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