CriticalDance Forum

Margot Fonteyn and Panamanian Politics
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Author:  Francis Timlin [ Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:02 am ]
Post subject:  Margot Fonteyn and Panamanian Politics

The recent declassification of some fifty-year-old documents held in the British National Archives has led to a flurry of news articles about Dame Margot Fonteyn's participation in a failed coup d'etat in Panama. Here is a sample.

Ben Mcintyre in The Times.

The Times

Owen Bowcott in The Guardian.

The Guardian

Richard Alleyne in The Telegraph.

The Telegraph

David Gardner in the Financial Times.

Financial Times

Author:  crandc [ Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Margot Fonteyn and Panamanian Politics

Pretty bizarre. Reading Fonteyn's autobiorgraphy, I felt her politics could most kindly be described as "confused", but also pretty conservative (ties to Imperial Russian dancers, praise for Imelda Marcos, spurning calls to boycott Chile after a coup overthrew a democratic government, putting on separate performances for Blacks and white in then-apartheid South Africa). Not clear what her motivations were in this escapade.

Author:  Cassandra [ Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Margot Fonteyn and Panamanian Politics

I'v a feeling Fonteyn never actually had any politics and all her unfortunate actions were influenced by her husband who was right wing with dubious political figures as personal friends.

As for dancing in South Africa, I imagine that at that point in her career she would take on any engagements to pay her husband's medical bills. Whatever Fonteyn was though she was not a racist and returned to the UK with a young mixed race dancer whose career she sought to further and who eventually danced with Scottish Ballet.

In general I've always found that classical dancers tend to hold right of centre views but modern dancers adhere to the left: interesting that.

Author:  crandc [ Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Margot Fonteyn and Panamanian Politics

Just to make it clear, I am not saying she was racist, just confused. She thought she could avoid problems by having 2 performances in South Africa and wondered why people made a fuss!

Interesting comment on the political divide in dance.

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