What a very special year this is as we reach the centenary of the truly masterful Dame Margot Fonteyn. Honoured with the rare title of Prima Ballerina Assoluta, Fonteyn led an incredible life in ballet and has left an almighty legacy behind. From the tender age of 16, Fonteyn joined the Royal Ballet, which is where she went on to spend the entirety of her professional career – and we are extremely honoured to have supplied Fonteyn’s pointe shoes throughout her time at the royal ballet.
Dame Margot Fonteyn’s generosity to her art and to the world of ballet in general was incredibly significant as she truly gave everything she was and everything she had to her performances. She was praised for her stillness, her subtlety and her elegant body formations that seemed purely natural and effortless and yet pushed the boundaries of classical ballet.
Freed of London pointe shoes are known to visually and technically become one with a dancer’s body, however, they are also highly praised for the fact that they are silent on stage. Dame Margot Fonteyn’s tremendous and intricate footwork is one of the aspects of her dancing that she was admired for the most, and the quietness of Freed of London pointe shoes helped her to do so with such precision and skill. No one can doubt Fonteyn’s technical abilities, which is why it was her theatrical capabilities that gave her an extra edge when dancing. The addition of theatrics and acting brought the dance to life as well as the character she played – meaning the emotive aspect of her performance was heightened further.
No one can doubt Fonteyn’s technical abilities, which is why it was her theatrical capabilities that gave her an extra edge when dancing. The addition of theatrics and acting brought the dance to life as well as the character she played – meaning the emotive aspect of her performance was heightened further.
Dame Margot Fonteyn was so exceptional in her field and dedicated to ballet and touring that she became somewhat of a celebrity, which lead ballet itself to grow in popularity amongst a more mainstream audience. Fonteyn went above and beyond ballet in a cultural sense, and during a time when Britain was pushing creative boundaries through fashion, music and film, Fonteyn became a creative muse in more ways than one. This was an exciting time for the ballet world, and Fonteyn (as well as her final partner Rudolf Nureyev) created excitement and intrigue around ballet, which goes to show just how influential she was.
Thankfully, Dame Margot Fonteyn didn’t retire as planned in 1961, but instead embarked on an iconic dance expedition with the notable Rudolf Nureyev. Together, the pair was so outstanding and exceptionally talented that certain ballets were choreographed for them specifically. Nureyev was dancing in Paris after fleeing from Russia, and Fonteyn had had a magnificent career but was looking to retire, but Ninette de Valois – Royal Ballet Director – saw the potential for a phenomenal partnership. Being 19 years her junior, Nureyev brought new life and energy to the partnership, whereas she brought experience and expertise, making them a perfect pairing which led to them dancing together for 18 years.
Dame Margot Fonteyn was a magnificent force, and she had a very close relationship with Freed of London – She was such an inspiration that even the way she attached and tied her pointe shoe ribbons influenced our very own recommended technique.
Along with Dame Margot Fonteyn’s 100th year since birth, we ourselves celebrate our 90th anniversary this year, and we are feeling prouder than ever that we are able to supply truly magnificent artists, such as Fonteyn, with our shoes.
Dame Margot Fonteyn may not be with us anymore, but her legacy and influence certainly lives on in the Royal Ballet Freed of London and the future generation of dancers, and will remain that way for the years to come.