Margot Fonteyn

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Dame Margot Fonteyn de Arias DBE
Margaret Evelyn Hookham
BirthplaceReigate, Surrey, England, United Kingdom
Known for dancing /classical ballet.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Fonteyn, Margot


(real name Margaret Hookham). Born May 18, 1919, in Reigate, Great Britain. English ballerina.

In 1934, Fonteyn became a member of the Vic-Wells Ballet in London. (The Vic-Wells Ballet became the Sadler’s Wells Ballet in 1942 and the Royal Ballet in 1957.) She has performed mainly in ballets produced by F. Ashton; many of Ashton’s works were created especially for Fonteyn. Her association with Ashton helped her to become the greatest English dancer.

Fonteyn danced principal roles in Ashton’s Nocturne (music by Delius), Symphonic Variations (music by Franck), Daphnis and Chloë (music by Ravel), and Ondine (music by Henze). Her roles from classical repertoire include Odette-Odile and Aurora in Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty and the title role in Adam’s Giselle. Fonteyn created the roles of Ophelia in Hamlet (music by Tchaikovsky), the Cat in Les Demoiselles de la nuit (music by Francaix), and the Woman in Poème de I’extase (music by Scriabin).

Since 1974, Fonteyn has been a guest artist with the Royal Ballet. In 1961 she toured the USSR with the company. In 1954, Fonteyn became the president of the Royal Academy of Dancing in London.


Monahan, J. Fonteyn. London [1957].
Money, K. The Art of Margot Fonteyn. New York [1965].


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Dear Editor, I was interested in the Margot Fonteyn biopic on BBC 4 recently, which partly looked at the period Margot spent at Stoke Mandeville Hospital (SMH) in the mid-1960's looking after her paralysed husband, the one-time Panamanian Ambassador to the Court of St James, Roberto [Tito] Arias.