News: Dancers should be 'pushed to the limit' - say Dames Beryl Grey & Gillian Lynne

Friday 14 February 2014 by Deborah Jones

Dames Beryl Grey and Gillian Lynne, both now in their 80s, who danced alongside Margot Fonteyn in their time, suggested that today’s dancers have it comparatively easy in an interview in the Guardian this week.

Beryl Grey says “…it’s much more comfortable now for dancers, as companies have health departments, masseurs and physiotherapists… For the man in the street, a ballet dancer is worked very hard. But we didn’t have any of that in the war. We just danced and enjoyed every minute.”
Read more Guardian 12 February 2014

But Judith Mackrell, The Guardian’s dance critic disagrees

‘There’s no doubting the heroic stamina and toughness of generations like theirs but it is important to point out that ballet has itself got tougher. In the 21st century, dancers – like athletes and sportspeople – are pushed to higher levels of achievement, speed and strength. They also dance a much more varied repertory than Lynne and Grey ever did. If earlier generations were able to do without sports medicine and physiotherapists, then their bodies were simply not subject to such a wide spectrum of stresses and demands.’
Read more Guardian 13 February 2014

Dame Beryl Grey will be talking about her career at The Ealing Music and Film Festival this weekend before a screening of the film ‘Margot‘ about Fonteyn’s career.

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