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Margot Fonteyn as Aurora


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#1 silvy

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Posted 21 February 2003 - 12:14 PM

is there any video of Margot dancing the complete Sleeping Beauty? I only have her in the last act ("Aurora's Wedding"), but I am pretty curious to see her in Rose Adagio, and everything.

silvy

#2 Alexandra

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Posted 21 February 2003 - 12:38 PM

As far as I know, no, alas.

#3 su-lian

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Posted 21 February 2003 - 04:35 PM

I thought there was one, since I was pretty sure I had seen Margot Fonteyn at least in the Rose Adagio and had been a little disappointed (you know people making descriptions and you imagine something extra-ordinary, in it's true meaning,and you expect something impossible and when you see it in real, you're a bit disappointed because it wasn't what you expected), but Alexandra's probably right, I don't really know. I was sure I had seen her dance it until I read this. Anyway, good luck Silvy!

#4 Mel Johnson

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Posted 21 February 2003 - 04:38 PM

I've seen a black-and-white version of her doing the Rose Adagio in the 50s, and the odd thing was, as she got older, she got even better!

#5 Alexandra

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Posted 21 February 2003 - 08:15 PM

Su-lian, I've seen a filmed Rose Adagio, too, although I don't think it's complete (?). It's on one of the many videos about Fonteyn. There is a complete Fonteyn Beauty at the Dance Collection. It's a private film, pieced together from ten years of performances. It's lovely -- the photographer's favorite dancers in their best moments, In His Opinion. I saw it at a conference on Sleeping Beauty quite some time ago -- I don't think it's available for public viewing, though.

#6 rg

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Posted 21 February 2003 - 09:58 PM

there was a show on british tv called something like: discovering the sleeping beauty. and it showed some footage, thought to have been lost, by keith money of act one of beauty. not complete but w/ a complete rose adagio.
furthermore, the factual answer to your question about a complete 'beauty' is yes. alas it is a v. fragile film, by victor jessen - the amateur film maker whose 'gaite parisienne' is on commercial cassette. like that short film this full 'beauty' was taken in small segments over a good number of years illegally filming the sadlers wells ballet. because of all the different performances peiced together, w/ sound recorded and applied afterwards to the silent footage, you see one lilac fairy in one portion of the film and a different dancer performing lilac in the next, i.e. b.grey then s.beriosova, etc. the same w/ the fairy variations, the carabosse role and the others.
HOWEVER there is ONE constant and that is fonteyn. so her aurora from this period is indeed recorded. it's kept in the new york public library for the perf.arts in lincoln center but you need very special permission to see it as it's quite a fragile film. i think it may have been loaned to the british for a fonteyn conference (or maybe it was sought and not sent, can't recall and i did not attend the conf). still i did see it, once, at the ny pub.library during a dance critics association conf. some time back. it's quite a fascinating record. ashton is carabosse at some points.
i long to see it somehow preserved & put out commercially (on DVD?) as the 'gaite' got done, but i don't realistically see it happening due to cost and approval rights. etc.
otherwise on sundry shows telecast in the wake of fonteyn's death there was a b&w t.v. version of her rose adagio, perhaps BBC program footage.
still the only complete 'beauty' i know of is the ny pub. lib. jessen one.
here's how the library lists it, before noting: permission required.
The sleeping beauty [1949-50] 4 reels. 123 min. 4800 ft. : sd. b&w. ; 16 mm.
Notes:Filmed by Victor Jessen in 1949 and 1950 during various performances of the Sadler's Wells Ballet at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, and other theaters during their U.S. tours. Edited, with addition of sound, in 1979 by Mr. Jessen.
Choreography: Frederick Ashton and Nikolai Sergeyev after Marius Petipa, with additional choreography by Ninette de Valois. Music: Peter Tchaikovsky. Scenery and costumes: Oliver Messel.
Performed by Margot Fonteyn (Princess Aurora), with Robert Helpmann (Act II) and Michael Somes (Act III) as Prince Florimund, Beryl Grey (Lilac fairy), Frederick Ashton (Carabosse), and artists of Sadler's Wells Ballet.
CONTENTS. - Reel 1: Prologue (The christening) (24 min., 30 sec.) - Reel 2: Act I (The spell) (28 min., 55 sec.) - Reel 3: Act II The vision) (27 min., 20 sec.) - Reel 4: Act III. (Scene 1, The awakening. Scene 2, The wedding) (42 min., 30 sec.)

#7 su-lian

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Posted 22 February 2003 - 12:35 AM

Now at least, I know I haven't seen it and I was wrong. Thank you!

#8 rg

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Posted 22 February 2003 - 07:47 AM

p.s. i hope it's still clear from my rambling reply, but now that i read the starting post here more carefully, i realize the initial question was a simple enough one, about the existence of a VIDEO of fonteyn's complete performance as aurora. so, the simple answer here is, alas, no.
there is this somewhat historic film by jessen, but the question was about video. so again, no video.
the keith money film of much of act one of the royal ballet's messel production led by fonteyn, with david wall among the cavlieres, dates from 1979(?) and was subsequently shown on english tv (in the late 80s(?) after it was thought the footage was lost) and there are excerpts of it in p.foy's docu. about fonteyn, as well as in 'the magic of the dance' (in the segment on tchaikovsky) but all these, except for the foy film - released on both cassette and dvd - are only around as 'of the air' tapes, they are not on the market.
some british videophiles could better fill in the facts of the telecast the money film, such as date, title, etc. i rem. distinctly that judith mackrell was the voice-over narrator about finding film in some dusty canister in some barn.
the program showing that film was, i believe, entitled "Re-discovering 'the sleeping beuaty'," not 'discovering...' as i stated earlier.

#9 Jane Simpson

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Posted 22 February 2003 - 02:33 PM

rg, the programme was made in 1990 and was called Sleeping Beauty Rediscovered. The voiceover says the SB film was made '22 years ago, when Fonteyn was 50' - I'd guess 1968. It was to be part of a complete Beauty directed by Keith Money, but they ran out of cash and this is all that survives. It's filmed on a rather small stage, and I think it's the RB's touring company. There is no casting given apart from Fonteyn, but David Wall is the first prince.

It's more or less the complete Act 1 except that it starts straight into the Garland dance (Ashton's) so there are no 'knitting ladies'; and it doesn't include Aurora's solo. The intro includes shots of Fonteyn rehearsing, and some comments from Fiona Chadwick, who was coached by Fonteyn at one time.

I think it's a better performance than the b&w one referred to above, which is hampered by a truly awful costume.

#10 rg

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Posted 22 February 2003 - 08:36 PM

many thanks, jane, for fully refeshing my faulty memory.
all your facts are of course correct and mine off all over the place.
i trust the clarification helps the post readers here.


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