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Margot Fonteyn - Potential Terrorist ...


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I believe that is true unfortunately.

After all she did for him when he was first injured and at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

But I thought he always was a bit of a womaniser in his early days and later in spite of everything. Love is blind as they say.

 

But he obviously did fall out of love with her and that is something that happens in Life.

My feeling is she probably did know.

Ive always been very upset with the whole of events after Margot retired including the manner of her final illness. She died very young for someone who continued dancing as long as she did.

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I saw a film about her by Tony Palmer in which a lot of her associates including, IIRC, her long-time secretary, were interviewed and it was really tragic. Given all the comments about how controlling her mother was, one would think she (the mother) would have thought a bit about taking steps to make provision for when Margot would have eventually stopped dancing, instead of letting her end up without a pension and dependent on handouts. Tito comes across as a really nasty piece of work, quite apart from the womanising which was bad enough. 

Edited by afds
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Yes I don't fully understand why she ended up penniless and I saw the film about her too which revealed Nureyev had helped her out financially. After all the pleasure she had given to thousands of people I couldn't bear it that she died in such pain. Life can be very cruel sometimes.

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I was just checking something out and came across this rather revealing statement made by Fonteyn after her husband died in 1989.

 

She said apparently "it's not death I'm afraid of but living too long"

 

She died about 15 months later. I don't know whether she herself was already ill at this point and therefore did not want the illness to be long drawn out or whether there was a feeling in her that she couldn't live without her husband. It seemed a lot of her own funds went to him whilst he was alive.....which surprises me as I thought he was from a comparatively wealthy background. But of course after he died perhaps she was cut off from funds then(by his family) but its hard to believe this...if true...after all the time and money she gave to him and not only after she retired....when she was a busy and much in demand dancer travelling as well tobe with him as much as possible when he was in Stoke Mandeville earlier on after the shooting.

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It looks like BBC4 have made a programme about Margot due to be shown in the Autumn of 2013 with actors (rather than dancers) playing the lead roles. Derek Jacobi plays Ashton apparently. This may be highlighting her relationship with Nureyev. Neither of the two leads look anything like their counterparts but it will be interesting to see what this brings up.

 

Have discovered since previous post that Margot was diagnosed with the form of bone cancer she had(how cruel is that) in 1988 so before de Arias died.....and he had been ill with cancer for some time on top of his other probs so this is indeed a very sad story and both not that old at all for these days.

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LinMM:  This sounds very much like a repeat of the BBC4 Docudrama made some 3 or 4 years ago, one of a series dealing with significant women.  If it is, I think it had Anne-Marie Duffy as Fonteyn and a Dutch actor as Nureyev.  It had a significant focus on the "Did they or didn't they have an affair?" question, coming down very heavily on the Yes side.

 

Edited to add this link, just found:

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1229174/Were-Margot-Fonteyn-Nureyev-really-lovers-A-riveting-TV-drama-brings-ballets-passionate-pairing-life.html

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Thank you Meunier and the other members who posted this very interesting topic.

It made me think Margot was not just naïve but maybe living in a world of fantasy.

Would she make a ballet out of it? In the interviews with so many journalists coming out of

her sleeves she gave a supreme performance.

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Politically she was very naive, remember her fondness for Imelda Marcos? but she was no fantacist.  Like many dancers she lived in a restricted bubble of existance that afforded limited contact with the world outside of ballet leaving little scope for political awareness.  The same is true of most classical dancers today, but not strangely with contemporary dancers.

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Presumably she believed...at least initially....in her husbands's cause and so trusted him.

In that way she was somewhat naive and probably didn't know a thing, or very little, about South American politics. So getting involved in a revolution was a little unwise lets say!! You normally only do this if you have some idea what you are doing and what will be the result of your actions.

 

I think it says in some sources that after this episode when de Arias had to hide in the hills somewhere their relationship deteriorated somewhat and she was even thinking of divorcing him just before he was shot.

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  • 3 months later...

Only just seen this thread.

 

I think part of the problem with finances was that, according to one of the stories I read, she financed his high spending lifestyle.  I can't remember whether the title of Panamanian Ambassador was not official, and so Fonteyn funded it, or the funds were not adequate, and therefore she paid for all the things that were deemed necessary.  The reason she carried on dancing for so long was because she was the breadwinner.  He does seem to be a nasty piece of work, who used Fonteyn's fame and money, and responded by carrying on with other women behind her back. 

 

And his family seemed to be just as bad.  There is a particularly gruesome story in one of the programmes that, while Fonteyn was on her death bed, they were worried about who she had bequeathed her property to, as they had not seen her will.  So they drew up a new will, and it was signed by dabbing her thumb in ink and pressing it on the paper.

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I would have thought her real will would have been with her own solicitor so any of Fonteyns family could dispute such a will as described above if thought was not her genuine wish. But I haven't read anything about this so don't know. I believe some members of his family did try to protect her from some of his and his lovers going on at times.

But from the outside it does all seem a depressing story I'm sure she deserved better. I cannot imagine why so many would have been that attracted to him!! But then I never met him so who knows what obviously hidden charms he had!!

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Yes tis true!!

 

Over a lifetime we've probably all done mad things for love and fallen for the very people who we are totally unsuited for. And hankered after people we should long ago have let go of!

 

And unfortunately older does not always mean wiser!

Yes Love can be a strange thing indeed!

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I understood that there were huge medical bills to pay after he was injured and that it was this that exhausted her financially. She's not the first famous woman who seemed to have the world at her feet to fall for a man who proves to be a less than satisfactory husband and won't be the last!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I did meet Tito (post injury) a couple of times, he was a very charming man with a winning sense of humour.

 

Not sure if all those rumours re the Arias family are true as I've been led to believe Fonteyn's step-daughter was devoted to her.

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I have long found it ironic that the careers of both Beryl Grey and Moira Shearer were undoubtedly damaged in favour of Fonteyn's (not her fault I hasten to add) but they both went on to have long, happy marriages with children. It does make you wonder who were the ultimate winners. Fonteyn had the long and legendary fame but I doubt it brought her that much real happiness.

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I have long found it ironic that the careers of both Beryl Grey and Moira Shearer were undoubtedly damaged in favour of Fonteyn's (not her fault I hasten to add) but they both went on to have long, happy marriages with children. It does make you wonder who were the ultimate winners. Fonteyn had the long and legendary fame but I doubt it brought her that much real happiness.

 

Everyone has a different definition of happiness.

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I do not follow the personal lives of dancers very closely. I was vaguely aware of Fonteyn's marriage to Arias, of his paraplegia and that she got into hot water in Panama but I had no idea that she had financial difficulties or died in poverty and I am very sad to learn that.

 

However, I did follow her very closely as a dancer. I saw her on the stage several times towards the end of her career in the 1970s.   I think she danced with Nureyev on all the occasions that I saw her on stage.   Fonteyn was certainly the dancer I most admired though I actually liked Sibley more.  

 

The last time I saw Fonteyn was not on the stage but as a guest at Grand Day at Lincoln's Inn. That is when the benchers of the Inn invite individuals who have distinguished themselves in the arts and other activities outside the law.  I can't remember the exact date but as I was called to the Bar in July 1977 and left the Bar briefly to work for a US company in 1984 it must have been some time in the late 1970s or the early 1980s. Usually benchers and their guests are greeted in silence with a bow.  There is never any clapping.   When Fonteyn bowed, however, the whole hall erupted into applause just as if she had taken a curtain call after the last Act of Swan Lake.

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'..>I've been led to believe Fonteyn's step-daughter was devoted to her<..'

 

MAB, I really hope this is true - I had the impression from what I read that the Arias family became dependant on her earning capacity - they actually needed her money. It seems to me that the whole Fonteyn's life was weighted with responsibiities, all of which she took very seriously and which left very little time for herself. Her career, the care of her mother, her job as the wife of the Panamainian ambassador, later her job as her husband's carer and even her honororary role as chancellor of the University of Durham where, touchingly, she took her role so seriously that she knew the names - and something about - all the students she came in contact with - all came before herself.

 

She was an extraordinary woman, not just an extraordinary dancer.

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