News-Press from Fort Myers, Florida on February 16, 1990 · Page 54
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News-Press from Fort Myers, Florida · Page 54

Fort Myers, Florida
Issue Date:
Friday, February 16, 1990
Page 54
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4D NEWS-PRESS, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 1990 Ballerina Dame Margot Fonteyn has foothold on dance history By MARY CAMPBELL Associated Press Dame Margot Fonteyn's importance in the history of ballet can hardly be exaggerated. She was the first ballerina of international status to be developed by a British school and company. And, to audiences thrilled by her dancing during a 45-year career, she always seemed like a nice person, too. Personality is conveyed across the footlights, Fonteyn said during a recent visit to New York. "It shows through your movement and your dancing," she said. "I think if your personality doesn't come through, then you're a little immature as an artist. I think that's part of being an artist. It is not just doing the steps. It is part of yourself that is conveyed through your dancing. "In 'The Sleeping Beauty,' which was supposed to be my best role, I'm smiling, happy, optimistic, cheerful." Television audiences will have a chance to meet Fonteyn and see for themselves tonight, when "The Mar-got Fonteyn Story" is shown on PBS' "Great Performances" series from 9 to 10:30 p.m. British producer-director Patricia Foy says she nagged Fonteyn for five years after her career ended a decade ago at age 60 to consider the project. Fonteyn's personal story is told on the show, as well as her dancing story. She met Roberto Arias, son of the president of Panama, in Cambridge, England, during the summer of 1937 when the Sadler's Wells Ballet was tiff , ' :' 1 i "The Margot Fonteyn Story" airs at 9 tonight on PBS. performing there and he was in college. They saw each other in 1938 and '39 and then not again for 14 years. In the interim, he had married and she had come close to marriage. They were married in 1955 and., he was made Panamanian ambassador to Britain. In 1964, when he was running for office in Panama, bullets from an assassination attempt left him paralyzed. Fonteyn was interviewed for the TV show in 1 988 at the cattle ranch in Panama where they lived after she retired. "People asked if I was going to teach when I stopped dancing. I said, 'I imagine I'll sit by my husband and be fat and happy.'" She was happy and enjoyed Panama's warm weather, but didn't gain weight. She lives there now, since his death last November, trying to continue his cattle breeding plans. "I don't know if I can really manage, but I'm going to try anyway because that's what I'd rather do than anything else," she says. Instead of memorizing what she said for TV, or reading from a tele-prompter, which seemed stilted, Fonteyn says she concentrated on areas to talk about. In 1983, she was host of the six-part series "Magic of Dance" and became used to that technique. When she first started ballet lessons, her name was Peggy Hookham. "Everybody thought it should be changed," she said. "In those days everybody changed their name and now almost nobody changes their name. Fonteyn came from the Brazilian side of my family, Fontes, sort of a near approach. There are one or two programs where I'm Margot Fontes. Then I became Fonteyn. When I was first in the corps de ballet, I don't know what the name was." During World War II, the Sadler's Wells Ballet performed seven, eight or nine times a week. ,'T would be in not less than seven one got very tired. There were two steps in 'Swan Lake' and 'Giselle' that were similar. At some point I decided I would do the same step in both ballets because I would get tired to the point it would worry me a bit to know which I was doing. "At one point I got so exhausted that my main concern when I was doing a variation was that I wouldn't run off the stage before the end. I was frightened I wouldn't have control over what I was doing," she said. "Occasionally I see the step wrong in the second act of 'Swan Lake,' the way I changed it long ago. TV's Tartikoff plans to put it on paper Gannett Newsservice NBC Entertainment president Brandon Tartikoff, arguably the most powerful man in the TV world today and holder of some of Hollywood's juiciest secrets, has signed with Random House. He plans to start writing in July, but there's no publication date yet and Tartikoff said Wednesday he expects it to be "years down the road." The topic: "A humorous look at TV," said Tartikoff known in Hollywood for his sense of humor. Just last week he was talking about ABC's critically praised "Elvis" series. "We've been working on a similar show," he deadpanned. "It's called "Fabian."' This book will be hotly awaited, no doubt. In his 10-year career at NBC, Tartikoff took the network from third to first place bringing some of the best writers in the country with him. As a result, he's at the top of Hollywood's A-list. So long, Sullivan The ax has officially dropped on "CBS This Morning"'s Kathleen Sullivan. Recently installed executive producer Erik Sorenson sent a memo to staffers on the road with the program in Florida that Sullivan's last day as co-anchor will be today. Sorenson thanked Sullivan for her efforts but made no mention of ABC's Paula Zahn as the chosen replacement. ABC News President Roone Ar-ledge is expected to return from South Africa this weekend and see what ABC can do to retain Zahn, whose contract expires at the end of the month. By the way, Sorenson and Zahn are old buddies. The two worked together at CBS' San Diego affiliate KFMB in 1979-80 and at CBS-owned KCBS in Los Angeles in 1986. P I U F?' f f ll! H For those who believe that the dining room is as important as the dining. A delicately carved china cabinet. The gleam of a chandelier. The fabric, furniture and acces- I series that give Ethan Allen's Home Collection its specia style are on sale at your Ethan Allen Gallery. There are specia savings on a wide selection of items from sofas to lighting to accessories In fact, one of the few things we can't offer you for less are the services of our Ethan Allen designers. As always, their help is free. ..SWT fc . ! K hun Allen D00 101 I23tS TJ015 MILLED Pay as you go! Ask about our consumer finance plan. THE WINTER SALE AT ETHAN ALLEN5 For a very important part of the world called home. 16240 U.S. 41 S. Fort Myers, Florida 33908 Phone Ft. Myers 489-2400 Phone Naples 591-2400 Hours: Monday-Saturday 9 A.M.-5:30 P.M. Thursdays to 9 P.M. It's a tiny little detail." She was in New York to coach "Birthday Offering," in which she was one of the original seven ballerinas, for American Ballet Theater. Sir Frederick Ashton created it for the 25th birthday of the Sadler's Wells, which became Britain's Royal Ballet in 1956. She doesn't often coach for ballet companies but enjoys it now. "New dancers come into the cast. There are always some little details and things that get lost. I think I can help in small ways," she said. Last year, she coached for three weeks in Houston and for three weeks with the Royal Ballet. Fonteyn's first major creation was in an Ashton ballet in 1935 and, though the years, she did many. Interestingly, Sir Frederick recalls on television what he thought of her in 1933 and includes the words inadequate and stubborn. The TV show begins with a "Swan Lake" staged by Rudolf Nureyev for the Vienna Opera. He and Dame Margot were filmed dancing in it in 1964. Earlier, Fonteyn danced with Robert Helpmann, which she says helped her develop stage presence. "If he was playing the title role in 'Coppelia,' and you were Swanilda (the doll), you didn't have a hope," she said. "Nobody was ever going to look at anybody else while he was there. He was a genius, so funny. "If you're on the stage with somebody who has this tremendous magnetism and charisma, if you're there beside him, you have to try to do something. Otherwise, you're going to be a nonentity. Working with him greatly helped me to develop as a stage performer so that people might see me as well." "BECAUSE" 30-70 WE CAN SAVE YOU ON FAMOUS NAME Mattress and Box Spring. Due to our Low Pricing Policy Many of the Manufacturers have asked us not to advertise brand names. But if you call us we'll gladly tell you their names. 0 a o, 8 mtu, I JAIL BRANLf store X. NAMES X" $129 M69 V f' TW DEPT. ' ' STORE OUR. PRICE $65 79 89 s99 110 DEPT. STORE '199 '219 $229 s269 '299 OUR. PRICE $75 M10 129 $149 169 '219 '289 '299 '329 '399 OUR. PRICE s99 149 $169 $199 s229 DEPT. STORE '399. '429 '469 '499 '529 OUR. PRICE $199 $269 '299 '329 $369 When a manufacturer needs to move a lot of beds at a low price, come see the people they call. Serving S.W. FL. 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