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Beryl Grey


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Good Grief! I am beginning to feel like Methuselah! First Toumanova, then Riabouchinska and now Beryl Grey! I saw her Lilac Fairy when the Sadlers Wells came to the Met on their first visit, and also subsequent ones. She was indeed a wonderful Lilac Fairy--and along with Diana Adams the solo was never performed better. I would also add, that I saw her "Swan Lake" and if it's any consolation to her now, preferred her Odette/Odile to the one of the celebrated Company ballerina.

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Beryl Grey, Violetta Elvin, and Moira Shearer -- all departed from the Royal by age thirty. In addition to Fonteyn's other qualities, she must have been skilled at protecting her turf. (This is not to say that she didn't deserve the top spot.)

I note at the very end of this article, Grey remarks that she and Pamela May will go to performances together and say things like, "Why are they doing that?" and she notes that the two of them are not consulted on such matters. Too bad.

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As another oldie of this board I have also seen Beryl Grey live. She was married to a Swede and somehow the theater in Gothenburg managed to get her to do a guest appearance (together with her regular partner John Field). I was young then but I remember they did the pas de deux from Les Sylphides and Black Swan pas de deux. Awesome stuff indeed! I had until then never seen anything like it. One of my fondest memories.

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