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Darcey Bussell: Looking for Margot

Darcey Bussell uncovers the life of Margot Fonteyn, revealing how she got drawn into a failed foreign revolution, danced on for far too long and died alone and in poverty.

Margot Fonteyn has inspired generations of ballerinas. She was beautiful, brilliant, talented and never put a foot wrong on stage. Her late flowering partnering with a much younger man, Rudolf Nureyev, created the most dazzling ballet partnership in history.

And yet behind the scenes, as Darcey Bussell discovers, Margot's life was marked by tragedy and disappointment. She barely knew her father and was dominated by her well-meaning, yet fiercely ambitious, mother. She couldn't find love and never had children. And when she finally did marry, to a man she loved from afar for many years, he turned out to be very different from what she expected: a hero to his people, but not always to his wife.

Darcey goes behind the scenes at the Royal Opera House and the Royal Ballet, and travels from London to New York and Panama looking for Margot. She finds how Margot lost out in love, got drawn into a failed foreign revolution, danced on for far too long and died alone and in poverty, miles from home. Along the way, Darcey speaks to many people who have not spoken out before about Margot. In the end, Darcey learns that by following her heart, Margot did find a kind of happiness, even though it came at a very high price.

1 hour

Last on

Mon 9 Mar 2020 01:15

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:03

    Lecuona Cuban Boys

    Rumbas Cubanas

  • 00:14

    Eugene Ormandy, Philadelphia Orchestra

    Waltz From Sleeping Beauty

  • 00:18

    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    The Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66: Act I. Valse - Allegro (Tempo Di Valse)

    Conductor: Leonard Bernstein. Orchestra: New York Philharmonic.
  • 00:43

    Frédéric Chopin

    Les Sylphides - 8: Grande Valse Brillante in E-flat major, Op. 18

  • 00:51

    Edward Elgar

    Salut d'amour, Op 12

  • 00:56

    Lecuona Cuban Boys

    Rumbas Cubanas

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Darcey Bussell
Producer Marion Milne
Director Marion Milne
Executive Producer Ross Wilson
Executive Producer Emma Cahusac
Production Company Matchlight Ltd

Broadcasts

  • Tue 20 Dec 2016 22:45
  • Tue 20 Dec 2016 23:10
  • Tue 20 Dec 2016 23:45
  • Christmas Eve 2016 01:30
  • Sat 31 Dec 2016 15:15
  • Sun 5 Feb 2017 21:00
  • Mon 6 Feb 2017 02:45
  • Mon 12 Nov 2018 00:00
  • Sun 5 Jan 2020 22:00
  • Mon 6 Jan 2020 02:55
  • Mon 9 Mar 2020 01:15

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