Dame Beryl Grey DBE DMus DLitt Ded FRSA is a legendary retired British Ballerina. She is the president of the ISTD, Vice President of the RAD, a Director of the Royal Opera House and Birmingham Royal Ballet and in 1997 was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award by the Royal Academy of Dance for her services to Ballet.
Beryl Grey joined the Sadler’s Wells School and at age 14 Dame Ninette de Valois took her into the Vic Wells Company (later to become the Royal Ballet). She danced Odette/Odile in Swan Lake at age 15 and made her debut in the lead role of Giselle age 17. During the 1940s and 50s she was one of the Royal Ballet’s leading ballerinas, alongside Margot Fonteyn, and in 1957 she had the honour of being the first British ballerina ever to appear as guest ballerina with the Kirov and Bolshoi Ballet in Russia. During the 1960s she was an international guest ballerina across Europe, South America, the Far East, USA and Canada.
Dame Beryl was director general of the Arts Educational School, a Governor of the Adeline Genee Theatre and a great supporter to the Bush Davies School in Sussex. She was both a Governor and Artistic Director of London Festival Ballet (now English National Ballet) from 1968-79.
The Gielgud Academy is deeply honoured to have Dame Beryl as its patron.
Photograph of Dame Beryl with Dame Gillian Lynne at the GAPA launch by MIke Champion
Gillian Lynne is a renowned star of the British Ballet and Theatre world. In 1997 she was awarded a CBE, in 2001 she was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award by the Royal Academy of Dance for her significant contribution to the dance industry and in the 2014 New News Honours list she became a Dame!
Lynne learnt to dance with her childhood friend (Dame) Beryl Grey and joined the Sadler’s Wells Ballet (later to become the Royal Ballet) during World War 2. She became an admired, dramatic ballerina – renowned for her roles as the Black Queen in Checkmate and Queen of the Willis in Giselle. After leaving the ballet she became a star of the West End in such roles as Claudine in Can Can and on film, starring opposite Errol Flynn.
Her most well known achievements however are in Choreography and Directing. She has worked on many productions for the Royal Opera House, Royal Shakespeare Company, English National Opera and many West End and Broadway shows. She is most renowned for her choreography on Andrew Lloyd Webbers musicals – namely Cats, Phantom of the Opera and Aspects of Love and for her acclaimed choreography on the West End musical of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for producer Michael Rose.
Dame Gillian Lynne runs a film production company – Lean Two productions which continues to produces TV, Film and Stage productions.
The Gielgud Academy is deeply honoured to have the support of Gillian Lynne.
Photograph of Gillian Lynne at her investiture at Buckingham Palace, 2014.