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|About the Change|
After 6 years of war everybody was keen to enjoy the peace even if there was still much adversity. Sadler's Wells Ballet put on a new production of Sleeping Beauty and Fonteyn stamped her authority on the company and public. Three years later it was this production that made the company's name in the US and internationally.
Dancing Times costs 1/- (5p)
An evening's dancing at the Hammersmith Palais on a Saturday night cost 3/6 (17.5p)
The 1945/46 Arts Council subsidy for the Royal Opera House was £25,000
Event of the Year
On the 20th February there was a gala reopening of the Opera House with the King, Queen, both Princesses, Prime Minister (Attlee) and many other VIPs. It was a new production of Sleeping Beauty with Fonteyn dancing Aurora. According to Richardson in the Dancing Times It was a great occasion and it marked the first appearance of a British company in ballet on a grand scale.
Dancer of the Year
Margot Fonteyn's Princess Aurora was completely satisfying and in any company would justify the title Ballerina assoluta being conferred upon her. There was none of the hard brilliance and 'steel-like' pointes which so often become the dominating feature of such performances. There was beauty in every movement and every movement was permeated with charm, happiness and that rare quality, tender lyricism.
Richardson in the Dancing Times.
David Vaughan in Frederick Ashton and His Ballets.
The year we'll be looking at will be 1984. Do write to us if you have any particular memories of that year