Margot Fonteyn as Odile, 1946

Norte Maar, Margot Fonteyn, Rudolf Nureyev

Margot Fonteyn as Odile, c. 1946
Stamped verso: By Royal Derree Sadler’s Wells Ballet is now named The Royal Ballet
Director: Ninette de Valois; Associate Director: Frederick Ashton; Under the management of S. Hurok; Photo produced by Culver Pictures, Inc., 150 West 22nd Street, Suite 300, New York, NY 10011 (212-645-1672)

On December 16th, 1935, at the age of sixteen, Margot Fonteyn danced the role of Odette for the first time.  In her autobiography, Fonteyn wrote of her initial fear of dancing the three acts of Swan Lake…’.Odette/Odile is a formidable role, climaxed by the virtuoso feat of thirty-two consecutive fouette turns on one leg without touching the floor with the other.  Some dancers can do dozens of these turns with ease…I have always found them difficult, and frightening…How I worked and worked on this demanding ballet, and what a drama it was for the entire company, wondering how I would get through it…somehow or other I did it, never guessing that almost exactly thirty-five years were to pass before my obstinate nature would give up the battle with the fouette turns in my last few performances of ‘Swan Lake’.

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