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New BBC Fonteyn movie "Margot"


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#76 Nanarina

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 08:42 AM

Both Dame Margot and Rudolf Nureyev had had big hearts and a generosity of spirit. The vast majority of us will remember them for this and their relationships with hundreds of people whose names will neither appear in any book or newspaper article nor most probably any film, but who loved them.


I'm not defending tabloid trash or unsubstantiated gossip, but I think interest in the personal relationship between these two great dancers is natural. They were not just performers, they were people, and their personal relationship was important to both of them. To suggest that their private lives be completely off limits by biographers and filmmakers is kind of unrealistic.




Yes Canbelto, this is very true, they were not just dance partners, you only had to see them together off stage, in the cafeteria, whispering and looking into each others eye's,walking hand in hand in the corridors, sharing costume fittings, sitting in a cave dressing room together drinking sweet tea,at Baalbeck. This is neither made up or un-substantiated it was witnessed by many people, including myself at the time. It was also wonderful to see. But their privacy was respected within the Company.

#77 Nanarina

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 09:45 AM

As this film appears to be about an unsubstantiated affair between Fonteyn and Nureyev surely it all comes under the heading of fiction rather than biography anyway, as all this speculation seems to be based on someone once spotting RN leaving MF's hotel room at an early hour. That's not much of a basis for assuming they were lovers in my book, but never mind, let's make a film about it anyway, putting aside the inconvenient truth that Nureyev was gay and actually on record as saying how unappealing he found heterosexual union.


Mashinka, he may have said it, but there is also another documentary sbout his life as a student, and early days in the Kirov. Which is to be screened (I think this week after Romeo and Juliet (MacMillan Royal Ballet) From memory of only seeing this once, it contains some rather surprising revalations about his conduct with a Tutor's wife, and it's results. Then there is a fellow young lady dancer. Perhaps he had a preference for an experienced older woman? And in the early days he was still "experimenting ", for him to be able to make this comment, (If he did) rather than just being confirmed gay. As you know Men did not "come out", even hiding behind marriage/children until well after the sixties, and in Russia and the UK it was probably still illegal. As the taboos lifted so many of these men were able to admit to their sexual orientation.

#78 dirac

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 10:03 AM

In fact I think that the fact that this is acknowledged to be a film for entertainment purposes makes it less offensive than something that purports to be "factual" and is actually full of speculation, innuendo, and gossip.


The problem was that it the BBC billed it as both a DRAMA and a BIOGRAPHY and the biographical content need not have been an invention when the real story is interesting enough.


The makers of the film were up front about what was speculation, allowing that not everyone thinks Fonteyn and Nureyev had a physical affair. This is fair enough. A movie about Lord Byron's love life, for example, would have to make such decisions. Some biopics have gone a lot further than that. It is certainly true that some movies supply fiction when they don't have to. :o

What no film can capture is the frisson that both of the artists in question created individually and as a partnership in the theatre and in the case of Dame Margot and Rudolf Nureyev off stage as well.


No movie could ever duplicate that, but it's not impossible that a film with a bigger budget than this one, with dancers cast, could do better justice to the story. (I can also imagine a fictional variation on the relationship, in the way The Red Shoes takes off from Nijinsky and Diaghilev.)

#79 leonid17

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 10:41 AM

Interesting review of the film by Ismene Brown http://www.theartsde...o...r&Itemid=27

#80 Mashinka

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 02:06 AM

The makers of the film were up front about what was speculation, allowing that not everyone thinks Fonteyn and Nureyev had a physical affair. This is fair enough. A movie about Lord Byron's love life, for example, would have to make such decisions. Some biopics have gone a lot further than that. It is certainly true that some movies supply fiction when they don't have to.


I suppose you are alluding to Byron's possibly physical relationship with his sister, Augusta Leigh. Of the legions of Byron biographers some have assumed he did and some have assumed he didn't whilst others sit on the fence. Augusta's daughter Medora was said to be the child of their incest and it would be possible (though not in my mind ethical) to exhume Medora and check her DNA thereby confirming her parentage one way or the other.

Byron is also considered to be bisexual, but as his adventures with boys were either at English public school/university or when he was travelling in Muslim countries it is likely he only found males of sexual interest when there weren't any females around. I believe Nureyev was the opposite.

#81 dirac

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 10:05 AM

Thanks for the recap, Mashinka,:) but that was not quite to my point, which was that biographers don't always agree on these things and it's possible for dramatic license to be taken one way or the other. I wasn't comparing Nureyev to Byron.

The article leonid links to is indeed interesting.

#82 leonid17

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 11:15 AM

A review of the film from The Times http://entertainment...icle6938024.ece

Do scroll down past the column to read the comment by Ian Payne.

#83 Pamela Moberg

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 04:41 PM

Normally I moan loudly about the fact that the Swedish TV show ancient ballet programs (if they show anything at all) and that the culture channel show equally ancient stuff (in that case it might be understandable, they probably buy cheap sale packets at TV fairs).

But I want to thank all previous posters for their views - this stuff is not worth waiting for five or six years for. I can relax and realise that I have missed nothing at all. All this said sarcastically.

But one a more serious note. I am flabbergasted that some guys got their heads together, and got in their own opinion the very great idea to drag two persons' names through the mud, knowing that same two people cannot stand up and defend themselves. OK, it might not be that bad, but from your posts I gather that truth was not strictly adhered to. IMO, it would have been better to make a screen play based on the characters of MF and RN.

Most probably I will not bother to see it when it comes along.

#84 Nanarina

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 07:00 AM

A review of the film from The Times http://entertainment...icle6938024.ece

Do scroll down past the column to read the comment by Ian Payne.





I agree with the comments that Ms Duff and her co Actors did not reppresent Margo, Ruddi, Sir Fred, Madame, Somes and BQ in my opinion, it was simply nothing like them at all. The Other documentary which tells the story of her whole life, called Margot is much more faithful. Just by watching this and seeing the clips posted on Swan Lake etc, shows how dismal the efforts of this programme were. The other true documentary does contain some candid information, given by dancers and critics etc, and I do not see any reason for these people to exaggerate or lie about their personal knowledge.

#85 Nanarina

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 07:31 AM

Normally I moan loudly about the fact that the Swedish TV show ancient ballet programs (if they show anything at all) and that the culture channel show equally ancient stuff (in that case it might be understandable, they probably buy cheap sale packets at TV fairs).

But I want to thank all previous posters for their views - this stuff is not worth waiting for five or six years for. I can relax and realise that I have missed nothing at all. All this said sarcastically.

But one a more serious note. I am flabbergasted that some guys got their heads together, and got in their own opinion the very great idea to drag two persons' names through the mud, knowing that same two people cannot stand up and defend themselves. OK, it might not be that bad, but from your posts I gather that truth was not strictly adhered to. IMO, it would have been better to make a screen play based on the characters of MF and RN.

Most probably I will not bother to see it when it comes along.



Look out for the documentary "Margot" by Tony Palmer, and produced by Keith Money, Isolde Films MMV Digital Classics Cat.No DC10001 (2005?) This is very good indeed, and although it is revealing, the people who speak are those who really knew Margot, and the production is very respectful and well filmed. God luck as it is multi regional I hope you will be able to get it to watch and enjoy. You can buy it on line from Amazon France using Euro's if need be.

#86 duffster

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 11:04 AM

I recommend this documentary "Margot", having recently viewed it through Netflix. It was very informative, I learned alot more about her day to day routine and her financial struggles towards the end of her life. When she guested with us in Washington, you would never have known of her problems. In this dvd, there is an extended segment of her gala in which Sir Fredrick Ashton joins her on stage to do the "Fred step". Maybe I'm too sentmental, but watching this section,I find myself getting teary. I would now love to see a documentary on Rudi of the same caliber.

#87 Nanarina

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 12:00 PM

I recommend this documentary "Margot", having recently viewed it through Netflix. It was very informative, I learned alot more about her day to day routine and her financial struggles towards the end of her life. When she guested with us in Washington, you would never have known of her problems. In this dvd, there is an extended segment of her gala in which Sir Fredrick Ashton joins her on stage to do the "Fred step". Maybe I'm too sentmental, but watching this section,I find myself getting teary. I would now love to see a documentary on Rudi of the same caliber.




Hello Duffster: I must wholeheartly agree ith you, I do not think for one minute you are too sentimental, from the first time I watched it, I felt very emotional, when you see the struggle Cive Barnes has to control his obvious distress, it tugs at your heart strings. The end where you see the small metal plate in the cemetary, and Margot's sister in laws description of events, is so very sad.
Seeing Margot when she was younger. and as I remember her in Act One pretty pink sleeping beauty tutu, which I attended to on many occasions. or seeing her and Ruddi together makes me cry.

May she rest in peace :crying: Nana.

#88 Pamela Moberg

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 05:17 PM

Duffster - there is indeed a good respectful docu about Nurejev and I have it :P

At the moment I am in the process of changing literally everything in the way of computer - broadband - all electronic systems in the house so this is just a very brief post to let you know. I will look for it and give all details when I can lay my hands on it. Cant remember if I have already posted about it, though. :crying:

I totally agree with you about the docu "Margot" and I suppose you mean the very long one. it was well over two hours.

#89 duffster

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 08:41 PM

My thanks to both of you,I'm glad we all agreed about this Dvd.- the part with Clive Barnes got to me too. Looking forward to the info on Rudi.

#90 Nanarina

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 06:29 AM

My thanks to both of you,I'm glad we all agreed about this Dvd.- the part with Clive Barnes got to me too. Looking forward to the info on Rudi.




Can you please tell us about the Nureyev Bio. Is it the one where her swims naked from his Island hideaway or is it FromRussia ........Where it is about his early life? Looking forward to the getting the details Nana.


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