It is debatable whether the headdresses included in this lot are from Les Sylphides or La Sylphide, however they seem to comply with photographs of Fonteyn in the former ballet, in the 1960s. It is thought that the costume itself is post 1962. According to Jean Percival, Nureyev hated the wings as they got in his way and had them reduced as much as possible.
Fonteyn once said ..'Les Sylphides' is a ballet I rarely danced because I have never really had a clear understanding of it...Nureyev made it quite clear in his interpretation.. Despite her misgivings about the role, it was generally agreed that Fonteyn's lyrical style was ideally suited to the part. Critics were fulsome in their praise of Fonteyn and Nureyev's partnership in this ballet. The Times wrote: ..She now appears as a fugitive vision, more ethereal spirit than frail muse. This conception, so much in accord with Fokine's own, has found a perfect match in Mr. Nureyev. At the end of the ballet a sudden shaft of bewilderment strikes [him] and with a slight movement of the head he seems to evoke all the poets who have ever seen visions. They danced supremely well together, caught up in the same music, borne along on the same stream..
A ballet season is held at Saratoga Springs every year. Neither the Royal Ballet nor the Touring Company were there in 1973, but Fonteyn might have been guesting there with Nureyev, or alone.