Page extent: 400
ISBN: 9781786820976
Binding: HardBack

For the Love of Dance

Dame Beryl Grey

HardBack (17 Jul 2017)

Published to celebrate Dame Beryl’s 90th birthday, this is the only autobiography from this famous classical ballerina, and is a must-read for dance and ballet lovers.

Dame Beryl’s life is defined by her love of dance. Her life and career spanned the period that saw the flowering of British ballet. Knowing and working with virtually everyone in the dance world, she reveals fascinating insights into the people, characters and institutions that made up world dance in the 20th century.

Grey began her dancing career with the Sadler’s Wells Ballet in 1941 at the unprecedented early age of 14. Her natural virtuosity saw her quickly promoted to prima ballerina, dancing her first Giselle at 17, and Princess Aurora at 19. Dame Beryl became the first English dancer to appear as a ballerina at the Bolshoi and the Kirov, as well as with the Peking Ballet.

Throughout WWII, Dame Beryl continued to perform throughout the country, despite the dangers. This autobiography provides a fascinating and personal insight into an extraordinary woman, her life and career.

Additional Information

ISBN13 9781786820976
Binding HardBack
Page Extent 400


'Celebrating Dame Beryl’s 90th birthday , this fascinating book was recently released by Oberon Books. It blends the story of twentieth century English ballet told from the point of view of one of its leaders and person memoir. Dame Beryl uses her extensive diaries as a base... Dame Beryl records vividly her relationship with Dame Ninette de Valois, (Madam’s mood changes and temper), and what it was like to work with Wilfred Stiff, John Gilpin and others. We learn how she managed to navigate the tricky change from ballerina to administrator and leader of a major ballet company... There are 30 pages of photos (both black and white and colour) and a well tabulated, extensive index...This was a vibrant and absorbing memoir.' Sydney Arts Guide

'She describes in detail her artistically successful, although personally often difficult, working relationship with Rudolf Nureyev. Using her diaries and letters, Beryl Grey traces...her performances, repertoire and guest appearances as both dancer and Head of the London Festival Ballet. She points out successes and failures, and, all the while naming names and highlighting conflicts, gives us an insight into the internal structure and the organisational and power relationships within the Company at that time. The book is a welcome contribution to the history of British ballet from the 1940s to the 1970s.' Tanz

'For The Love Of Dance represents a detailed journal of Dame Beryl Grey’s life as a dancer with the Royal Ballet and as a freelance guest artist, and the everyday travails of directing a major ballet company and inner workings of such a ballet company... Grey has revealed a great deal of herself in her autobiography which makes For The Love of Dance an absorbing read.' Mark Kappel, Newsnotes 

'Beryl Grey, now 90, one of UK’s brilliant dancers, danced her first Odette at 15. She has always kept a daily diary and always turned to God for guidance. She writes of her time with the Royal Ballet, her international career as guest artist, her numerous travels abroad... She does not hide her bitterness at always being in the second eleven and Margot Fonteyn and Moira Shearer getting more opportunities than she did... She gives a vivid record of her relationship with Ninette de Valois... and what it was like to work with Wilfred Stiff, John Gilpin and Rudolf Nureyev...Grey describes the chaos and venomous backstabbing in detail.' Mature Times

'extraordinary incidents are detailed in the autobiography of Dame Beryl Grey, 90, the former prima ballerina who collaborated with Nureyev in the 1970s when she was artistic director of London Festival Ballet (now English National Ballet)... Grey has drawn on her previously unpublished diaries, writing “about Rudi as I found him”. “Every day, he was different and unpredictable, so kind sometimes, other times so uncharitable.”... Grey is offering further insights into the dancer... "I would have been very scared to have danced with him because you didn’t know if he was going to be in a good mood or a bad one." ' The Guardian

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