Interview: Dame Margot Fonteyn Talks of Anna Pavlova

Interview: Margot Fonteyn talks of Anna Pavlova

1984 Interview of Dame Margot Fonteyn. Image source: YouTube excerpt.

Twenty-eight years ago, in a 1984 interview, Dame Margot Fonteyn talks of Anna Pavlova and her  newly published book Pavlova, Impressions.

Elegant  and distinguished at 65, shy and soft spoken, she tells of the time she saw Pavlova dancing; she was 6 years old. At the time of this interview, she had been retired for five years. She retired in 1979 at 60, after 17 years of an amazing partnership with Russian sensation Rudolf Nureyev.

Here’s the Interview: Dame Margot Fonteyn Talks of Anna Pavlova

Interview video courtesy of

In this interview, where Dame Margot Fonteyn Talks of Anna Pavlova, her admiration for her is evident.

I have so much admiration for this unique ballerina, Margot Fonteyn. I still have my Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) diplomas signed by her. I’ll never forget when I heard of her passing. I was at home with three small children, the youngest, a new-born. It was 1991. I was so sad. The ballet world had lost an amazing dancer.

How fortunate we are to have videos like this one, that reminds us of Dame Margot Fonteyn, the ballerina, the legend, the lady.

Here is the book she mentions: Pavlova, Impressions.

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About Romy Macias, Senior Editor

Romy danced with the Ballet Clasico de Queretaro Fernando Jhones for 10 years having reached 1st soloist position. She presently takes on character roles and teaches at the company's junior academy. This site is a testament to her passion for classical ballet. You're invited to be part of our community and join in the joy for this amazing art form.


  1. Peter Gehr says:

    Very elegant woman, and an interesting look into her personality and life. Thanks for the post.

  2. Amanda says:

    Thanks Romy. I saw the very end of a movie on the life of Dame Margot just lately such a sad in the end, but such a varied, hard, wonderful, tragic life.

    • Amanda,
      Hi, thanks for taking the time to comment.
      Do you, by chance, remember the name of the film?
      Yes, she had cancer towards the end. According to what I’ve read, she had taken care of her husband Tito (Roberto Arias), who was paraplegic.

      Here’s an excerpt from Jeffrey Taylor’s article (Express) on November 29,2009: “Margot Fonteyn, The Truth Behind The Ballet Legend.”

      “Fonteyn lost her fortune and, ultimately, her freedom when she married Panamanian diplomat Roberto “Tito” de Arias in 1955. A confirmed womaniser, Tito survived a 1964 assassination attempt and, although she was on the point of divorcing him, Fonteyn devoted the last years of her life to nursing her paraplegic husband.

      Losing everything, they scratched a living on a remote farm. She attended to his personal hygiene, turned him to avoid bedsores and fed the invalid a teaspoonful at a time. She had no money and was deeply shamed by the collection boxes passed round London’s West End dressing rooms.

      Tito predeceased her in 1989. Fonteyn died of cancer two years later in 1991, aged 72.”

      Still, her life fascinates me.


      • How very sad. Dame Margo was my idol I was a student at the Royal Ballet School in 1962-3 and had the great thrill of seeing her and Nureyev in the halls of the school and also from the wings of Coventry Garden…Magic!

        • Sheila,
          I agree. Nonetheless, I am fascinated with her life and the “rebirth” of her ballet career after she paired up with Nureyev.
          How fortunate you are to have seen them both!
          Was Nureyev as short tempered as has been described by some?

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