When we came home to the UK on leave, my mother would take us to see the ballet at Covent Garden. We saw Copelia, La Fille Mal Gardee, Swan Lake, Giselle and others. I remember being there, in the theatre, waiting for the curtain to come up, feeling the excitement and anticipation of what was to come and imagining myself in future years being one of the dancers.
Naturally I had lessons, and for lessons you need a leotard and shoes. And where did we get them? Well, here! In this shop which I stumbled across on our trip to London. E Gandolfi has been there on Marylebone Road since 1949. I can't tell you how excited I was to trip over it nearly forty years after our first visit.
I had red leather shoes and a pink leotard. :)
Here is a picture of Fonteyn which hangs in my bedroom. I have another of her and Nureyev together in Giselle. Amazing to think that she was in her forties when they started dancing together and that she carried on dancing until she was 60.