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Margot Fonteyn's Vision
Fonteyn Academy vs A Dance School
Dame Margot Fonteyn de Arias
Kenneth Ludden, Artistic Director
Joy Brown, General Art Director
Sveinbjorg Alexanders, School Director

Kenneth Ludden first met Dame Margot Fonteyn when he was a ballet student in Central Pennsylvania. He was taken by his teachers to the graduation ceremony of the National Ballety of Washington, DC’s Academic School where Fonteyn presented diplomas to graduates. After that initial meeting, Fonteyn took an interest in the young dancer, eventually arranging for him to study at the Royal Ballet School. While in England, Ludden lived with Fonteyn’s mother, Hilda “BQ” Hookham.

The association between Fonteyn and Ludden continued throughout the rest of her life. Once Ludden’s own ballet career began, he and Fonteyn worked together to form the plan for an International Fine Arts Academy. This development and planning period lasted for 8 years, and then, in the last 4 years of Fonteyn’s life, the two of them started to actively pursue seed money and funding for the proposed Institute. Fonteyn began teaching at the Jeoffrey Ballet School as a special guest, and took the opportunity to accellerate her work with Ludden to form the plan for a ballet academy within the planned Institute. Money did not immediately come through, and Fonteyn’s failing health and eventual death, the project never got off the ground.

Ludden worked with her family and close associates to plan her Washington, DC memorial service at Saint Matthew’s Cathedral, and helped with the tribute at the Lincoln Center Library for the Arts. He also directed the Kennedy Center, American Film Institute Tribute to Nureyev after he died. Ludden has gone on to write articles about Fonteyn and Nureyev, and is currently working on a book about his close work with the legendary ballerina.


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