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BBO ANNOUNCES NEW PRESIDENT
Posted by bbo on 27 August, 2010 13:49
The British Ballet Organization (BBO) announces the appointment of its new President, Dame Beryl Grey. Dame Beryl will be the fourth BBO President, following in the footsteps of Dame Ninette de Valois, Edward Kelland-Espinosa and Dame Alicia Markova.
Dame Beryl has a longstanding connection with the BBO, having taken her first ballet examination with the organisation in 1932. Since then, she has maintained her links with the BBO and, this summer, was Guest of Honour at the organisation’s 80th Anniversary celebrations.
Dame Beryl Grey
Born in Highgate, Dame Beryl began dance classes whilst attending Sherborne Preparatory School. At the age of eight she was taught by Phyllis Bedells. At nine, her talent was recognised by Ninette de Valois and she was offered a four year scholarship to the Sadler’s Wells School. In 1941, Beryl joined The Sadler’s Wells Ballet Company. She danced Swan Lake as Odette/Odile on her 15th birthday, Giselle at 16, and The Sleeping Beauty aged 19.
From 1957 to the mid-60s, Beryl was an international guest Ballerina across Europe, South America, Australasia, the Far East, USA and Canada. She was also the first western Guest Artist to dance with the Bolshoi Ballet (1957-58), and to appear with the Peking Ballet and Shanghai Company with a Chinese partner (1964).
After two years as the Director of the Arts Educational Schools and Teacher Training College, Beryl became the Artistic Director of the London Festival Ballet from 1968 until 1979. She retained her links with the Teacher Training College (London College of Dance and Drama) as Vice-Chairman until it merged with Middlesex University in the early nineties. Affiliated with: ISTD (Life President), Royal Academy of Dance (Vice-President), British Federation of Music Festivals (Vice-President), Vice-Chairman of the Governors of The Royal Ballets and The Royal Ballet School until 2002, a Director of the Royal Opera House until 2003, Vice Chairman of the Dance Teachers’ Benevolent Fund until 2004, currently Chair of The Royal Ballet Benevolent Fund since 1983 and President of the English National Ballet.
Dame Beryl holds numerous honorary doctorates and was awarded the CBE for her services to dance in 1973, and created a Dame of the British Empire in 1988. In 1997, she was presented with the Queen Elizabeth Coronation Award by the Royal Academy of Dance. In 2004, she received the Dance Critics’ Award for services to dance and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the ISTD. Beryl also won the 2010 Carl Alan Theatre Lifetime Achievement Award.