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Subject: "Marguerite Porter" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #2287
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Roddy

20-11-01, 08:52 AM (GMT)
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"Marguerite Porter"
 
   Does anyone have some information on Marguerite Porter - her background and career? I have just seen her on video as the Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty and I felt she stole the show in a very subtle and beautiful way. I believe she was on the judging panel for this year's Genee awards.


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Marguerite Porter Liz Davies 20-11-01 1
  RE: Marguerite Porter Liz Davies 20-11-01 2
     RE: Marguerite Porter Ann Williams 20-11-01 3
         RE: Marguerite Porter Paul A 20-11-01 4
             RE: Marguerite Porter Roddy 20-11-01 5
                 RE: Marguerite Porter pmeja 20-11-01 6
                     RE: Marguerite Porter Fuzzyface 20-11-01 7
                         RE: Marguerite Porter Terry Amos 20-11-01 8
  RE: Marguerite Porter Gerald Dowler 20-11-01 9
     RE: Marguerite Porter Viviane 20-11-01 10
         RE: Marguerite Porter roddy 21-11-01 11
             RE: Marguerite Porter Paul A 21-11-01 12
                 RE: Marguerite Porter Fuzzyface 21-11-01 13
                     RE: Marguerite Porter Michael 22-11-01 14
             RE: Marguerite Porter tortie14 25-11-01 15
                 RE: Marguerite Porter Viviane 26-11-01 16
                     RE: Marguerite Porter Paul A 26-11-01 17
                 RE: Marguerite Porter roddy 26-11-01 18
                     RE: Marguerite Porter Ted 26-11-01 19
                         RE: Marguerite Porter Ann Williams 26-11-01 20
                     RE: Marguerite Porter tortie14 27-11-01 21
                         RE: Marguerite Porter Anneliese 27-11-01 22
                             RE: Marguerite Porter Roddy 28-11-01 23

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Liz Davies

20-11-01, 09:22 AM (GMT)
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1. "RE: Marguerite Porter"
In response to message #0
 
   Yes, two of our trustees do her open classes in Richmond.
Ring me for trustee phone details next week. Liz, Sterling Work for Russian Children. 0207 603 8748.


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Liz Davies

20-11-01, 09:22 AM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Marguerite Porter"
In response to message #0
 
   Yes, two of our trustees do her open classes in Richmond.
Ring me for trustee phone details next week. Liz, Sterling Work for Russian Children. 0207 603 8748.


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Ann Williams

20-11-01, 10:10 AM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Marguerite Porter"
In response to message #2
 
  
Roddy - I would be grateful if you could say which video this is excactly. I thought the only RB 'Beauty' on video was the one produced in the early 90s with Vivian Durante, and on that video the Lilac Fair is Benazir Hussein.


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Paul A

20-11-01, 10:45 AM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Marguerite Porter"
In response to message #3
 
   I guess this must be the 1976 production.

Saw Porter live in this - always found her a pallid, rather than subtle performer. She always seemed uneasy - this apparent lack of confidence meant she never had much presence. Saw her too as Natalia in Month in the Country - but no memories of her performance. Saw too as a weak Firbird - no allure.

Seem to remember reviews slating her in the new/ revised Giselle in 1980, a production that was villified. She did Manon too but did not see her in that.

As others have commented in the past that she sufered because she looked like Fonteyn - enormous expectation on her. Seeing her (in public places) this year can see the resemblance - or to Hepburn. Beautiful is the right word. She is married to Nicky Henson, the actor. Fairly recently she produced a workout video.


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Roddy

20-11-01, 12:39 PM (GMT)
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5. "RE: Marguerite Porter"
In response to message #4
 
   I am not sure of the year but it was the production with Park and Wall and Monica Mason as Carabosse. Interesting that she has a presence on video that, at least to Paul, was not evident in live performance. She does project a benign nature without overdoing the sweetness and light; there is no sense of her feeling ill at ease. Her dancing was exquisite.


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pmeja

20-11-01, 02:05 PM (GMT)
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6. "RE: Marguerite Porter"
In response to message #5
 
   i found the new york public library dance collection listing for that film if it is of interest, it does give the details.
*****
Telecast via satellite from Covent Garden, London by WNEW-TV on December 16, 1978. Produced by Metromedia Television, Channel 5 in cooperation with the BBC. Producer: Doris Bergman. Executive producer: Paul Noble. Director: Andrea Reiter. Spoken introductions by Mikhail Baryshnikov.
Choreography: Kenneth MacMillan after Marius Petipa based on the version by Frederick Ashton and Nikolai Sergeev. Music: Peter Tchaikovsky. Sets and costumes: David Walker.
Performed by the Royal Ballet, London. Cast: Merle Park (Princess Aurora), David Wall (Prince Florimund), Monica Mason (Carabosse), Marguerite Porter (Lilac fairy), Jennifer Penney and Wayne Eagling (Bluebirds), Robert Jude (King Florestan), Rosalind Eyre (His Queen), Anita Young (White cat), Christopher Carr (Puss-in-boots), Wayne Sleep (Hop o' my thumb), Leslie Edwards (Cattalabutte). Conductor: Ashley Lawrence.


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Fuzzyface

20-11-01, 02:10 PM (GMT)
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7. "RE: Marguerite Porter"
In response to message #6
 
   It would be wonderful if this film was on video. I remember watching the broadcast as a child, as vividly remember Lesley Collier as the Fairy of the Songbirds. A much more preferable production than the one Dowell did later on.


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Terry Amos

20-11-01, 02:41 PM (GMT)
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8. "RE: Marguerite Porter"
In response to message #7
 
   I liked her a lot and always enjoyed her performances. But many people didn't like her at all and that included most of the critics. I seem to remember some very hurtful reviews and I think that contributed to her decision to stop dancing.


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Gerald Dowler

20-11-01, 03:10 PM (GMT)
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9. "RE: Marguerite Porter"
In response to message #0
 
   Try to get hold of her autobiography, which will have all the info you require. Very nice book.


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Viviane

20-11-01, 06:04 PM (GMT)
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10. "RE: Marguerite Porter"
In response to message #9
 
   LAST EDITED ON 20-11-01 AT 06:17 PM (GMT)

>some very hurtful reviews and
>I think that contributed to
>her decision to stop dancing.

Terry, I read in the little biography-note (brochure A.G.-competition) that she joined the RB in 1967 and left in 1988...that's quite a time ?!

Roddy,
She danced an impressive list of roles. And afterwards she has been in a film and was a Guest Artist in a lot of Derek Deane's productions and even had the role of the Queen in Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake on Broadway.
She did also choreographing work for London City Ballet...oh, and they mention a video "Marguerite Porter's Balletcise", released by V.C.I.
(Well, I can go on...maybe I had better typed it out all )

Oops...just found out that the text is on-line :
http://www.rad.org.uk/news/press18.htm

Gerald, I will look out for this book !
It's "Ballerina - A Dancer's Life" published in 1992, I presume ?


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roddy

21-11-01, 07:25 AM (GMT)
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11. "RE: Marguerite Porter"
In response to message #10
 
   Thank you all for the information. The video I saw was borrowed from an elderly friend who was a former soloist with the Royal. He must have taped a television broadcast. I thought the name 'Marguerite' may have indicated a French background on her mother's side - no doubt this will be clarified in the autobiography.


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Paul A

21-11-01, 09:39 AM (GMT)
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12. "RE: Marguerite Porter"
In response to message #11
 
   Roddy - I think the broadcast was taped at Christmas either 1976 or 77 when the production was new.

I will delve and see whether I can find an old programme with her bio. I seem to remember she was born in Doncaster.

Another of her key roles was hostess in Biches - I remember more detail in that role as danced in the 80s compared to how we have seen it more recently.


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Fuzzyface

21-11-01, 12:46 PM (GMT)
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13. "RE: Marguerite Porter"
In response to message #12
 
   "The Sleeping Beauty" was broadcast on Boxing Day 1978, and was recorded the week before at the ROH. I recall it quite well, because there was a BBC technicians strike going on at that time and I remember hoping desperately that the broadcast would not be cancelled. Well of course it wasn't in the end.

I was never a fan of Marguerite Porter, but she had a lot of admirers. I think she got a lot of stick because the RB seemed to be holding back on a lot of talented youngsters at the time (Brind, Chadwick, Tucker, Paisey etc) whilst she was being given a lots of first nights.


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Michael

22-11-01, 01:56 AM (GMT)
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14. "RE: Marguerite Porter"
In response to message #13
 
   Marguerite Porter was, and still is, one of the most beautiful women in ballet. She was lovely in the right roles, especially as Natalia Petrovna, in which she made her farewell. She invested the role with a grace and feeling which Miss Guillem for all her talents, could not match today. But she was not for me the strongest technician, and got a lot of bad press in the early eighties, more than she deserved. I remember her Aurora being delightful and charming, but technically no match for Collier, Park and Penney. Her book is a joy, not least for the gossip (try and work out the identities of Sabrina Shilling and Cherie Sutton). I would LOVE to see the 1978 video - it was a great performance, and I seem to remember still included the Ashton Awakening pas de deux


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tortie14

25-11-01, 11:35 PM (GMT)
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15. "RE: Marguerite Porter"
In response to message #11
 
   LAST EDITED ON 25-11-01 AT 11:40 PM (GMT)

Roddy - nothing French about Marguerite, she is actually Mags from Yorkshire with a stage name - all will be explained in her book. As one of her many fans I would be the first to acknowledge she was not the strongest technician and did suffer from nerves - helped not at all by some really vitriolic and personal crits who for whatever reason laid into her in a very nasty way and made her even more nervous. They seemed to take delight in tearing her to shreds - often I think because there was a pro Collier anti Porter faction, both audience, critics and within the Company, who took against Marguerite very strongly. They made her life very difficult and I think did contribute to her stopping a little earlier than she had to because life became unpleasant. She seems to inspire strong feelings - very ardent admirers and positively vicious enemies.

For me she radiated a beautiful presence and imbued every role with grace and feeling which many a whizz-bang technical virtuoso lacked. She had heart and had a vulnerability that was very moving - for example in Month she was really heart breaking, she was lovely in Enigma Variations, exquisite in the central romantic role in Patineurs and wonderful as Juliet. As for her Firebird (mentioned by Paul) for me she was a very exotic bird and was especially moving in the pdd when she is trapped and struggles to escape. Not as strong as Monica Mason, for example, in what everyone says is a killer role but for me a wonderful Firebird. I travelled to Liverpool to see her in the role!

She was at Opera House for the first night on Eugene Onegin - looking as beautiful as ever.

It would be wonderful to have a copy of that video.

I believe she usually contributes to the Yorkshire Ballet Seminar.



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Viviane

26-11-01, 06:58 AM (GMT)
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16. "RE: Marguerite Porter"
In response to message #15
 
   > I believe she usually contributes to the Yorkshire Ballet Seminar.

Yes, Margaret Lumley mentioned her in a 'Yorkshire Ballet Seminar' report on Ballet.co : she attended one of her classes and was delighted about Porter as a teacher.


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Paul A

26-11-01, 08:33 AM (GMT)
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17. "RE: Marguerite Porter"
In response to message #16
 
   Found a programme from 1980 with her bio. Some more details:
Not clear when she joined the company after RBS but returned in 1973 as a soloist, principal in 1978.

Key roles: Juliet, Bianca in Shrew, Aurora as well as lilac fiary, Girl in Robbins' Faun, Hermia, Swan Lake, Lykanion, Tataiana in Anastasia, Prelude and mazurka in Sylphides, girl in Two Pigeons, Spectre de la rose, In a Summer Garden - plus roles in Manon, Nutcracker, Danes at a Gathering, Raymonda act 3, Symphonic Vs, Rite of Spring, Four Seasons, Four Schumann Pieces, Serenade, Birthday Offering, Jazz Calendar. Created Katia in Month before doing Natalia.

Hope this prompts a few memories for some pollsters. Cannot remember what year she left the company.


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roddy

26-11-01, 09:36 AM (GMT)
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18. "RE: Marguerite Porter"
In response to message #15
 
   Tortie14 - it's nice to hear from a fellow traveller. The qualities you mention are evident in this video and I can well imagine that I too would have 'made the trip to Liverpool', had I been living in England at the time. Distressing though that she was the object of such vitriol - from a distance it seems that she was either too beautiful for her own good or had innate qualities about which others could just dream or both. I have been able to order her autobiography through WH Smith and I look forward to reading her side of the story. Incidentally, Monica Mason danced a superb Carabosse in the same production.

Perhaps I could arrange to have a copy made of the video if you are interested.


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Ted

26-11-01, 11:33 AM (GMT)
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19. "RE: Marguerite Porter"
In response to message #18
 
   Roddy, I would also be interested in a copy of the video and would be more than happy to reimburse all your expenses. Please send me a message via email. Many thanks.


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Ann Williams

26-11-01, 11:36 AM (GMT)
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20. "RE: Marguerite Porter"
In response to message #19
 
   Roddy
Please e-mail me - I too would be very interested in seeing a copy of this video, so can I place myself third in the queue behind Tortie and Ted?

In hope

AW



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tortie14

27-11-01, 00:17 AM (GMT)
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21. "RE: Marguerite Porter"
In response to message #18
 
   Roddy - YES PLEASE - that would make me very happy and I have a group of friends would be also benefit as I would hold a video showing and we can oh and ah at Marguerite, Monica and all the rest and relive happy memories. If making a copy seems like a realistic possibility can you email me at tortie14@yahoo.co.uk and we can talk practicalities, reimbursing etc? Sounds from other posts that your offer of a copy of the video is causing a good old fashioned ballet queue to form - always the best place to make friends! And when you have got the book, let me know and I'll dig out my copy and we can compare notes. Regards Tortie14.


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Anneliese

27-11-01, 10:33 PM (GMT)
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22. "RE: Marguerite Porter"
In response to message #21
 
   Please may I join the queue too?


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Roddy

28-11-01, 07:01 AM (GMT)
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23. "RE: Marguerite Porter"
In response to message #22
 
   Dear queue, I'm working on this thing and I hope not to leave you out in the cold for too long!


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