On this day…

#OnThisDay 11th October 1949 Ballet Dancer Margot Fonteyn at the opening performance at the Metropolitan Opera

English ballerina Margot Fonteyn, one of the only dancers in history to hold the title of Prima Ballerina Assoluta, is seen here in a photograph dated the 11th of October, 1949.

Fonteyn was dancing the opening night performance at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House.

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On this day…

Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev rehearsing Roland Petit’s ballet Paradise Lost at the Royal Opera House in London. 20th February, 1967.

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MARGOT FONTEYN ET RUDOLF NOUREEV DANS LE BALLET PARADIS PERDU 1967

On this day: the premiere of Romeo and Juliet

christopher-gable-and-lynn-seymour-as-kenneth-macmillans-original-romeo-and-juliet-1965

Romeo and Juliet as it was intended to be: Gable and Seymour in the roles created for them, in a 1965 performance.

Kenneth Macmillan’s acclaimed ballet version of Romeo and Juliet premiered at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden on the 9th of February, 1965.

Even though the ballet had been specifically created for Christopher Gable and Lynn Seymour, the intervention of Russian-American tour organiser Sol Hurok meant they were not allowed to dance first cast in the lead roles.

Instead, Gable and Seymour, critically acclaimed dancers who had personal input into the choreography, were forced to teach their roles to Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn, who would also go on to feature in the video recording of the ballet.

In further controversy, choreographer John Cranko, whose earlier production of the ballet is eerily similar to Macmillan’s version in a number of scenes, was said to be horrified by what he saw as plagiarism of his work.