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MelindaB

Reading Maketh a Full Man...

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Currently reading

The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature (Canto)
C.S. Lewis
Boys and Girls Learn Differently!: A Guide for Teachers and Parents
Michael Gurian, Terry Trueman, Patricia Henley
Ambition and Survival: Becoming a Poet
Christian Wiman
Deep River: The Life and Music of Robert Shaw
Keith C. Burris
Daring, Trusting Spirit
John De Gruchy
The Vatican Diaries: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities, and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church
John Thavis
The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia
Orlando Figes

Margot Fonteyn: Autobiography

Margot Fonteyn: Autobiography - Margot Fonteyn We are going to see "Swan Lake" next month. To prepare, we are watching DVD's of Margot Fonteyn and Rudolph Nureyev dancing in this ballet, and reading the fairy tales that accompany the ballet. So I got interested in reading more about Margot Fonteyn, the most accomplished ballerina in the 20th century. She danced until she was 58. Her career was given an Indian summer when she began dancing with the newly defected Nureyev who was 20 years her junior. She married the Panamanian Ambassador, who was shot and paralyzed after they had been married 10 years. So I was interested in reading in her own words the events that had shaped her life.The book is interesting, and fairly thorough in an analytical way. She loved to dance, focused on that to the exclusion of almost everything else, and got incredible opportunities given to her at exactly the time she was ready for them. These things paired with a balanced and sound physical anatomy made her the perfect ballerina. The interesting aspect of the story, which is not developed much at all, is the sacrifice of her mother to place Margot where she would succeed. Fonteyn's father was an engineer working in Shanghai. Fonteyn's mother moved to London with Margot to support her ballet study. WWII intervened, and they did not see her father for 10 years! This statement is made very casually, but I was more interested to hear about her mother and father. They seems to be deeper and more giving characters, while Margot rose higher and higher in the ballet world while being a flat character off stage because she was not "acting". She herself admits that her on-stage personalities were much more interesting, because she thought about and developed them. Her off-stage personality seemed very stilted and flat because she developed so little outside of ballet.Her marriage to "Tito" provides education for her in areas outside of ballet, and from that point in the book she seems to grow and develop as a person. Her support of him after he is shot and paralyzed was also the reason for her continued dance career. I was touched by her faithfulness to him and to his care. I felt it terribly sad that she had never desired to have children. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in reading how a genius grows and develops into their art (whether ballet, science, music, painting...). But I am sorry that Margot's mother never wrote a book about what it was like to support a genius in the making! I think that would be a deeper and more interesting book!