In Fonteyn’s footsteps

As the RAD’s flagship competition returns in person, Gerard Charles, the RAD’s Artistic Director, looks forward to The Fonteyn 2023.

Dance Gazette | Art of the matter | Issue 6 - Feb 2023

Dancing is about expression and sharing and so I am delighted that through The Margot Fonteyn International Ballet Competition we are once again able to give young dancers a chance to come together, to share their dancing with each other and our audiences, and to gain new experiences that will enrich their lives. I hope that a greater number of people beyond our participating candidates, (our teachers, younger dancers and broader community), will also have opportunities to discover how dance is so inspiring and rewarding.

Margot Fonteyn was not only an exceptional artist and an international icon, she was also a lifelong learner who was extremely generous in sharing her passion for dance with others. Today’s dancers have not had the good fortune to see Fonteyn perform live but the lasting impressions of her incredible artistry and musicality are qualities left in my memory that I am keen for a new generation to discover.

Gerard Charles

‘We wish to give people viewing the dancers the opportunity to know them as individuals, artists and multifaceted performers’


It is therefore very much with her amazing abilities in mind that we shape the Fonteyn as not only a chance for the participants to share their talents but also as a chance to encourage them to explore their full potential as artists and people. Winning a Genée Gold Medal is definitely a highpoint for a few, but of much greater value to all who dance are the experiences of participating and being a part of something that is so much greater than yourself. For this year’s Fonteyn we are building a wide range of opportunities for our dancers to be able to explore movement, creativity and personal expression.

There is no one guaranteed path to success in this world and every successful ballet dancer has their unique story to share. As teachers it is our responsibility to provide all our students with a wide range of experiences and personal support, in addition to offering them the chance to perform and be seen. We wish to give artistic directors and others viewing the dancers the opportunity to know them as individuals, artists and multifaceted performers. It is our responsibility to encourage the true range of artistry that is the art of good dance and not simply exploit empty virtuosity.


REST OF Issue 6 - Feb 2023

Big Picture post

Dame Beryl Grey

The great British ballerina, RAD Vice President – and Dance Gazette agony aunt.


Meet Mr Baryshnikov

Q&A interview with Baryshnikov and a report from the award ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Mikhail Baryshnikov partnering Antoinette Sibley in Giselle. Photo: Science History Images/Alamy

Bullet at the ballet

One critic described Mikhail Baryshnikov as ‘a shining golden bullet’ on the ballet stage. Jonathan Gray looks back on his miraculous classical career.


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Even as his ballet career drew to a close, Mikhail Baryshnikov embraced modern dance, screen acting and experimental theatre. Artists including Mark Morris, Robert Wilson and Willem Dafoe tell Sarah Crompton about working with Baryshnikov.

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Protection programme

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Photo: Jimmy Parratt

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One year on from the invasion of Ukraine, Russian ballet is isolated from the wider world. Simon Morrison traces the recent history of the Bolshoi, Russia’s iconic ballet company.

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Monica Mason

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Aaron Bloomfield

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