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FONTEYN DRAWS PACKED HOUSE AGAIN.

Tutus and other belongings of the late Dame Margot Fonteyn raised 654,144 [pounds sterling] ($953,400) December 12, auctioneers at Christie's in London said. "It was extremely busy. The sale room was packed, with a couple of hundred people in attendance," a spokeswoman said.

Born in Britain in 1919, Fonteyn was considered one of the most talented ballerinas of the twentieth century. She became an international star in 1946 in a Royal Ballet performance of Sleeping Beauty. The pink tutu designed by Oliver Messel that she wore in that production was one of the personal items that went under the hammer. Christie's said they were put on sale by a close relative.

"The top lot was an evening dress by Yves Saint Laurent, which sold for 91,750 [pounds sterling]," the spokeswoman said. Other lots were the dancer's Christian Dior wedding outfit; the tutu and headdress, designed by Leslie Hurry, that she wore in Swan Lake; and photographs and memorabilia charting her prolific career and personal life. Her personal correspondence with famous fans, including Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Kennedy and Winston Churchill, was also sold.

Fonteyn enjoyed a legendary partnership with Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev, despite being almost 20 years his senior, and was later awarded the rare title of prima ballerina assoluta by The Royal Ballet.

There were calls by some ballet fans for the main items to be gathered in a collection where the public could see them. But the lots were bought by individual bidders.

"It would be good to think that we could keep at least some of the major items from the sale in this country as part of our dance heritage," said Clive Burton of The Royal Ballet School.

Married to Panamanian diplomat Roberto Arias, Fonteyn retired in the early 1970s to Panama, where she died in 1991.

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Title Annotation:Dame Margot Fonteyn's belongings auctioned
Publication:Dance Magazine
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 1, 2001
Words:307
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