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.
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.