oh she was gorgeous - Peggy Hookham aka Dame Margot Fonteyn


Ah, the Magic of Dance. How many of you actually remember this series with dainty, tiny Dame Margot strolling through the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles regaling us with tales of Le Roi Soleil's dancing prowess? I also own the book to the series. That was the measure of my infatuation with ballet at the time.

My fascination has waned since, and has lain dormant until November last year, when I discovered Rudolf Nuryev's biography and it waxed into full-blown passion once again (at which point I also launched this blog, I think?)*. Presently, I am reading Meredith Daneman's biog of Dame Margot, one of Nureyev's preferred dance partners, and his long-standing friend.

One surprising fact that I gleaned from this book was that Dame Margot lived right around the corner from where my relatives live today. Too funny, really. So the Mitfords are temporarily on the side burner, while I remind myself about retir├ęs, arabesques, ├ępaulement, etc. She was referred to as 'pas belle' but somehow managed to create that stuff of legend, which means she is by rights in my 'gorgeous' gallery.

* the Nureyev nudes by Avedon have been the greatest traffic generator to my corner of the net... not, I surmise, attracting droves of balletomanes, but rather many a size queen.

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