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Dame Margot Fonteyn’s ballet shoes expected to fetch £12,000

July 28, 2012

Ballet shoes that belonged to British ballerina Dame Margot Fonteyn are to go under the hammer in Kent.

Dame Margot Fonteyn wrote adjustment details on the sole of one of the shoes

The shoes, which date from the early 1970s, have been put up for auction by Cheryl White whose mother, Joy Crossen, ran a ballet shop in South Africa.

They are expected to fetch up to £12,000 at auction in Hythe, in August.

Ms White, of Hythe, said: “She’s marked the back of them to show how she wants it adjusted. She’s put ‘Single dolly’ with a cross to show where she wanted that putting.

“I think, probably, these are the only pair where she’s actually written about what she wanted and how she wanted to be standing in her shoes.”

Famous partnership

Dame Margot’s partnership with Rudolf Nureyev revived her career when she was mulling retirement.

Margot Fonteyn & Rudolf Nureyev in Roland Petit’s Lost Paradise, 1967

Ms White plans to help fund bursaries for young dancers with the proceeds of the auction, which also includes a letter from Dame Margot and an autograph book containing her signature

In 2000 items belonging to the dancer, including a Christian Dior wedding outfit and white swan tutu, were auctioned for £640,000 – six times more than expected.

Margot Fonteyn in Swan Lake, photo by Gordon Anthony, 1945 © V&A Images/Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Reigate-born Dame Margot is considered one of the most gifted ballerinas of the 20th Century both in classic roles and in roles created for her.

She became prima ballerina of the Royal Ballet in 1940 and found international fame after a notable performance of The Sleeping Beauty in 1946.

Her famous partnership with Rudolf Nureyev, who was 20 years younger than her, began in 1962 and revived her career at a time when she was considering retirement.

She died of cancer in 1991 in Panama, where she had retired to live with her husband Roberto de Arias in the 1970s.


From → Ballet, Dance History

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