An obituary for Alexander Grant in The Telegraph.
Above all Grant’s distinction as a classical dancer, combined with his mastery of character, enabled Ashton to develop what were usually subsidiary supporting roles – the bravura trick soloists – into key players in the main drama, often introducing a provocative sexual charge.
As a young man Grant was lusted after by both sexes, as well as by Ashton himself. As the Pirate Chief in Daphnis and Chloe (1951), the dancer described his orders: “I used to have to rush on stage, pick Margot up with one hand and run off with her, and then ... swing her round and round, throw her on the floor and proceed to jump all over her.” The swooning fans who gathered at the stage door to catch a glimpse of him were astonished to find how short he was.
Judith Cruickshank's obit in The Guardian.
While Margot Fonteyn is generally thought to be the inspiration behind some of Frederick Ashton's most successful ballets, the same could be said of Alexander Grant, who has died aged 86. Grant possessed an unusual combination of pure classical virtuosity and an unequalled sense of characterisation and drama. In his most famous role, Alain the simpleton suitor in Ashton's La Fille Mal Gardée (1960), he combined wild foolishness with childlike innocence and pathos. When it becomes clear that his marriage to the heroine has been cancelled, he looks around for a girl, any girl, to whom he can give his lovely, sparkling betrothal ring. No dancer has managed that brief, heart-wrenching moment more effectively.