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
Alfreda Thorogood has enjoyed an immensley successful career as a Principal dancer in the Royal Ballet and as an Artistic Director of dance.
She trainined with Vera Volkova and George Goncharov, at the Lower and Upper Royal Ballet Schools. She danced with the Royal Ballet Touring Company and in 1970 transferred to the Royal Ballet at the Opera House, Covent Garden where she danced as a principal until 1980.
Alfreda’s repertoire with the Royal Ballet included all the leading classical ballerina roles ; Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Princess Aurora & Bluebird in Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Swanhilda in Coppelia and Mary Vetsera & Marie Larische in Mayerling. She partnered her late husband David Wall, Rudolf Nureyev, Anthony Dowell, Derek Dean and Wayne Eagling.
Alfreda gained her teaching diploma on the RAD’s professional dancers teachers course. She was Senior Ballet Teacher at the Bush Davies School and then Deputy Ballet Principal. From 1988-1992 she was Artistic Advisor of the RAD and Chairman of the Grades Panel. In 1992 she was appointed Senior Ballet Teacher at Elmhurst Ballet School and was their Artistic Director of Dance from 1994-2004.
She has been a guest repetiteur for English National Ballet, a member of the Arts Council Advisory Board for Dance and has taught internationally.
Alfreda is pictured here with her late husband David Wall in Symmetries with the Royal Ballet.
Christopher Hampson was born in Manchester and trained at the Royal Ballet Schools. His choreographic work began at the Royal Ballet School and continued at English National Ballet where he danced until 1999. He is now the Artistic Director of Scottish Ballet.
Christopher has created numerous works for English National Ballet including Nutcracker and Double Concerto, which won the Barclays Theatre Award and the Critics’ Circle Award for Best Classical Choreography.
Christopher’s Romeo and Juliet, created for Royal New Zealand Ballet, was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award (Best New Production 2005) and his production of Giselle for the National Theatre in Prague has been performed every year since it’s premiere in 2004. Christopher created Sinfonietta Giocosa, for the Atlanta Ballet in the U.S.A. and, after a New York tour it received its UK premiere with ENB in 2007. He created a new Cinderella for the Royal New Zealand Ballet, which was hailed, Best New Production by the New Zealand Herald and televised in 2009. His work has toured Australia, China, U.S.A. and Europe.
Christopher is a co-founder of the International Ballet Masterclasses in Prague and has been a guest teacher for English National Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, Royal New Zealand Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Bonachela Dance Company, Mathew Bourne’s New Adventures and the Genée International Ballet Competition. Christopher’s work now forms part of the Solo Seal Award for the Royal Academy of Dance.