Music: Slim Legs

London's balletomanes were bursting with pride over a local girl who had made good. Lord Beaverbrook's Daily Express boasted that the 26-year-old prima ballerina of the Sadler's Wells Ballet was "greater than Pavlova." Slim-limbed Margot Fonteyn was the hottest thing in English ballet since London-born Alice Marks became the great Alicia Markova.

The Express' enthusiasm, like its politics, was excessively nationalistic. Englishmen like to call London's 15-year-old Sadler's Wells company the National Ballet, and take pride in the fact that it owes little to the Russians. Margot Fonteyn is, in a complicated way,...

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