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 Post subject: "Margot Fonteyn" - biography by Meredith Danem
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2004 8:23 am 
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Margot Fonteyn
by Meredith Daneman. REVIEWED BY PAUL BAILEY for The Sunday Times

Thirteen years after her death, the great British ballerina has the biography she deserves. Meredith Daneman’s book is long, but not excessively so, because Margot Fonteyn’s illustrious career was dependent on three other people: her formidable mother, Hilda Hookham, known as Nita; Ninette de Valois, the dominant force behind the Sadler’s Wells Ballet; and Frederick Ashton, the choreographer who best knew her strengths and limitations. Without this trio, she might have remained Peggy Hookham, an olive-skinned girl with lustrous dark eyes and only average intelligence.

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<small>[ 24 October 2004, 10:25 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: "Margot Fonteyn" - biography by Meredith Danem
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2004 5:24 am 
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There is also a lengthy review in the T2 section of today's Times written by Debra Craine. Here is the link: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,585-1327958,00.html

Worth going out to buy a copy though, for the lovely portrait of her in Swan Lake which I think was taken by Baron though no photo credit is given.


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 Post subject: Re: "Margot Fonteyn" - biography by Meredith Danem
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2004 6:19 pm 
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Amazing Grace
Reviewed by Deborah Jowitt
Sunday, October 24, 2004; Page BW08

MARGOT FONTEYN: A Life

By Meredith Daneman

Viking. 654 pp. $32.95

Quote:
When Britain's Sadler's Wells Ballet came to the old Metropolitan Opera House in 1955, my roommates and I (dancers all three) took turns all day standing in a line that snaked around the block. What I remember most vividly from that evening's performance was Margot Fonteyn in Mikhail Fokine's "Firebird." We were used to Maria Tallchief's cool, steely power in George Balanchine's version of the work. Fonteyn, wearing a veritable chieftain's war bonnet of red feathers, was a leaping, quivering flame -- passionate yet not fully human. Half a century later, I learn from Meredith Daneman's new biography, Margot Fonteyn: A Life, that the role's creator, Tamara Karsavina, had pressed the English dancer to this characterization: "You are a wild bird, Margot," Karsavina told her, "you've never felt a human hand on your body before, you've never been caught and it's terrible." That's what Fonteyn showed us that night.
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 Post subject: Re: "Margot Fonteyn" - biography by Meredith Danem
PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2004 2:27 pm 
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For those in a Fonteyn kinda mood, check out VAI's latest release of complete performances of her in Sleeping Beauty and also Cinderella:

http://www.vaimusic.com/VHSballet.shtml


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 Post subject: Re: "Margot Fonteyn" - biography by Meredith Danem
PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2004 1:52 am 
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Quote:
Equally at home on the range...

By JANN PARRY
The Observer
October 31, 2004

A ballet star at 16, politician's wife at 40, rancher at 60. There was more to Margot Fonteyn than Nureyev, as Meredith Daneman shows in her long-awaited biography of the much-loved ballerina.
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 Post subject: Re: "Margot Fonteyn" - biography by Meredith Danem
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 7:22 am 
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Quote:
A spot of dirt on her tutu

by LOUISE LEVENE
the Sunday Telegraph

Before becoming a novelist, Daneman was a Royal Ballet-trained dancer with Australian Ballet and this inside knowledge, combined with her obvious passion for her subject, earned her the trust and co-operation of Fonteyn's friends, family and colleagues.
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 Post subject: Re: "Margot Fonteyn" - biography by Meredith Danem
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 7:28 am 
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Quote:
A goddess of dance impelled by her soul

by LAURA THOMPSON
the Daily Telegraph

The book's greatest achievement is that it keeps alive both the myth of Fonteyn and the reality beneath. "True art, in the end, is to do with character…what reaches us is the essence of a person."
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 Post subject: Re: "Margot Fonteyn" - biography by Meredith Danem
PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 7:05 am 
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Life and art in the balance

by CAROLE ANGIER
the Independent

The secret of its success is that it is perfectly matched to its subject, perfectly in tune.
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 Post subject: Re: "Margot Fonteyn" - biography by Meredith Danem
PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:11 am 
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Eternal beauty of the dying swan

by JACKIE McGLONE
the Scotsman

The legend was inherent from the beginning. Her first partner, the flamboyant homosexual, Robert Helpmann, who later became one of her many lovers, remarked: "She had the curious quality of making you want to cry."
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 Post subject: Re: "Margot Fonteyn" - biography by Meredith Danem
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 1:42 pm 
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A review by Glenn Giffin in The Denver Post:

http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36~28~2514148,00.html


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 Post subject: Re: "Margot Fonteyn" - biography by Meredith Danem
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2004 2:13 pm 
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A thorough review by Robert Gottlieb in The New York Review of Books:

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/17593


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 Post subject: Re: "Margot Fonteyn" - biography by Meredith Danem
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 9:40 am 
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Although I have just begun reading the Daneman biography of Margot Fonteyn and havn’t yet got as far as the 1960’s, I must say that I am disappointed to discover from the Robert Gottlieb review that the blame of the first night casting for MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet is being laid at Fonteyn’s door.

In his book In House which details his long career with the Royal Opera House, former General Administrator, John Tooley, tells us that it was Sol Hurok who was responsible for the Royal Ballet being forced to drop Lynn Seymour and Christopher Gable in favour of Fonteyn and Nureyev. And if anyone knows the truth of the matter then surely it must be Tooley.

Norman Lebrecht, in his book Covent Garden: The Inside Story, also writes about Hurok’s intervention on the grounds of box office receipts, he is intrigued though, that nothing relating to this incident could be found in the ROH archives. Rather more interestingly LeBrecht also reprimands MacMillan himself for not standing up to the management decision and tells us that MacMillan had lost interest in the Seymour/Gable partnership around that time, but was forced to reinstate them as a partnership after De Valois’s intercession on their behalf.

In her bibliography Daneman lists the Tooley book, but not the Lebrecht one.

The idea that Fonteyn (or any other dancer for that matter) had the power to dictate artistic policy at Covent Garden always struck me as absurd and with so much reliable information pointing to Hurok as the villain in this episode it’s a great shame that Fonteyn is being used as a scapegoat in this way.


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 Post subject: Re: "Margot Fonteyn" - biography by Meredith Danem
PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 2:50 am 
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Quote:
'Margot Fonteyn': Leaping Beauty

By TONI BENTLEY
The New York Times
December 05, 2004

Meredith Daneman's ''Margot Fonteyn'' has captured what few know: the heartbreak behind the heroine. Daneman, herself a former professional dancer and the author of four novels, has written the definitive book on this icon beloved of balletomanes around the world.
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 Post subject: Re: "Margot Fonteyn" - biography by Meredith Danem
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 9:26 am 
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Quote:
Moving Words: "Margot Fonteyn: A Life" By Meredith Daneman

by TOBI TOBIAS
the Village Voice

Though Daneman doggedly hauls aspects of them into view and pontificates upon them, her sensibilities, thinking, and writing style are insufficiently sophisticated for the task of making Fonteyn live on paper.
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 Post subject: Re: "Margot Fonteyn" - biography by Meredith Danem
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2004 11:35 am 
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Sally Blakeney reviews the book for The Australian:

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,11742835%255E16947,00.html


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