Ballerina Margot Fonteyn Celebrated at Lincoln Center
In 1949, the Sadler's Wells Ballet
(later the Royal Ballet) introduced Margot Fonteyn to America
at the Metropolitan Opera House as Aurora in The Sleeping
Beauty. Her luminous stage
presence, profound musicality, and exquisite line so captivated
the audience that her performance passed into legend overnight.
Beginning May 18, the exhibition Margot Fonteyn in America:
A Celebration will be on view through September 3 in the Vincent
Astor Gallery at The New York Public Library for the Performing
Arts, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY. Admission is free.
Margot Fonteyn in America: A Celebration will coincide
with the international observance of Frederick Ashton's centennial,
a focus of the 2004 Lincoln Center Festival. At the time of
her New York debut, Fonteyn was already celebrated as the British
choreographer's muse, having created roles in many of Ashton's
works. Then, in 1962, she began a partnership with Rudolf Nureyev
that extended her career into the 1980s. Many Americans were
introduced to ballet through the dancing of this prima ballerina
costumes, personal and professional photographs, and films,
the exhibition progresses from the pointe shoes Fonteyn wore
on that magical opening night in New York to a photograph
of a stage heaped with flowers at the curtain call of her
final Aurora in the United States—and beyond.
It will guide visitors through Fonteyn's remarkable career
in this country, focusing on her collaborations with Ashton
and Nureyev, as well as her iconic roles in ballets from Swan
Lake to Romeo and Juliet. Going beyond dance, the exhibition
explores Fonteyn's elegant personal style through some of her
glittering dresses designed by Yves St. Laurent, and indicates
the strong impression she made on the social life of the time.
Materials for Margot Fonteyn in America: A Celebration come from the Jerome Robbins Dance Division of The
New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and from
private collections. Costumes are on loan from The Royal
Opera House Archives, Covent Garden; the dresses are on loan
from the Fondation Pierre Bergé Yves Saint Laurent
“Margot Fonteyn was undeniably the most famous
and most beloved ballerina of the second half of the 20th century.
Her performances throughout the United States were a force
in the growth in popularity of ballet,” noted Jacqueline
Z. Davis, Executive Director of The New York Public Library
for the Performing Arts.
The New York Public Library for the Performing
Arts houses the world's most extensive combination of circulating,
reference, and rare archival collections in its field. #
For further information, call 212.870.1630,
or visit www.nypl.org.