Text excerpt from the Telegraph.co.uk
5 Feb 2011
**Telegraph link via anisimwf.livejournal.comSunday Telegraph 50th anniversary: Stories of the 1960s
One of the newspaper’s strengths from the outset has been its arts coverage. When Rudolf Nureyev made his first appearance at Covent Garden opposite Dame Margot Fonteyn on February 25 1962, our critic Susan Lester was in the front row. “His Albrecht — the hero of Giselle — is a fascinating study, which rivets our attention from start to finish,” she wrote.19th February 1962: English ballerina Margot Fonteyn (1919 - 1991) and Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev (1938 - 1993) in 'Giselle' at Covent Garden, London.
“Nureyev imparted his emotion with much economy of gesture and subtlety of bearing and timing… There are moments when his concept seems at odds with the Royal Ballet’s, but considering the amount of work involved in bringing them together, and more particularly, in uniting him and Fonteyn, who dances Giselle, the result is amazingly good. Fonteyn obviously wants to do her utmost to co-operate and her performance is the richer for her tenderness and unobtrusive behaviour.”
When, 17 years later, Fonteyn announced she was hanging up her ballet shoes, The Sunday Telegraph was granted an exclusive interview. “Margot Fonteyn opened her hotel room door apologising for her bare feet,” wrote Catherine Stott. “Naturally I couldn’t take my eyes off them after that since they are two of the most famous, hardest wired feet in the business. For one horror-stricken moment I thought her toes were covered in dried blood, that she had danced the nails away, but it turned out to be a gruesome shade of nail varnish.
“The celebrated feet now curiously resemble the shape of a ballet shoe, toes furled over into sawn-off points by a slow process of attrition after 55 years of dancing on them – much as the sea shapes rocks. And all the time she talked she rubbed them tenderly as though they hurt – as well they might.”