#tbt: Margot Fonteyn and The Royal Ballet Arrive Stateside in Style

To celebrate our 90th anniversary, we excavated some of our favorite hidden gems from the DM Archives—images that capture a few of the moments in time we've documented over the decades.


Ninette de Valois, Margot Fonteyn, Moira Shearer, Frederick Ashton, Michael Somes and Robert Irving arrive in the U.S. Photo by Enell Inc., Courtesy DM Archives

In the days when Margot Fonteyn was a household name, The Royal Ballet toured to the United States on a regular basis, and it was always an event. In this shot, we have no shortage of ballet royalty arriving stateside: founding director Dame Ninette de Valois, Fonteyn, Moira Shearer (perhaps best known today for her film role in The Red Shoes), Sir Frederick Ashton, Michael Somes (Fonteyn's frequent partner until Rudolf Nureyev's arrival, and later assistant director under Ashton) and Robert Irving (conductor and music director). If only international travel were so glamorous today...

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Clockwise from top left: Photo by Loreto Jamlig, Courtesy Ladies of Hip-Hop; Wikimedia Commons; Photo by Alexander Iziliaev, Courtesy Pennsylvania Ballet; Natasha Razina, Courtesy State Academic Mariinsky Theatre; Photo by Will Mayer for Better Half Productions, Courtesy ABT

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Christopher Duggan, Courtesy Nichols

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Comments have been pouring in from every angle imaginable: from history lessons on black face, to people outside of the ballet world expressing disbelief that this happens in 2019, to castigations of Copeland for exposing these young girls to the line of fire for what is ultimately the Bolshoi's costuming choice, to the accusations that the girls—no matter their cultural competence—should have known better.

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