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A life in dance- started in Hampstead- condensed into a book

Christina and Alexander in La Grand Pas de Deux Christina and Alexander in La Grand Pas de Deux

Rhiannon Edwards , Deputy Features Editor
Monday, September 10, 2012
5:07 PM

Eton Avenue-based dancer Christina Gallea-Roy travelled the world with her dance company and has collected the anecdotes into a book

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Christina Gallea and Alexander Roy met while they were both working at an American dance company. They married in the early 1960s and moved to 69 Eton Avenue, where they were to set up one of the most successful ballet companies in the UK – The Alexander Roy London Ballet Theatre.

“It was a remarkable house, it was built for John Collier originally and his studio was in there. At that time the area was cosmopolitan, but in a different way. Swiss Cottage was full of émigrés and it was such a lively place to be,” says Christina Gallea Roy.

Gallea Roy subsequently travelled the world with the company and has now collected the anecdotes from the life of the company into a book, entitled Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: A Life In Dance.

“There are lots of people and situations in the book that would disappear into history if left undocumented. There were fantastic stars of the time, great venues and stories that I really wanted to record. That is why the book is called Here Today, Gone Tomorrow.”

The book tells the story of partners in love and work striving to make a go of their dance company and travelling the world.

“We took ballet to places that otherwise would not have seen it and that was a highlight – we were lucky to be able to do what we wanted to do,” says Gallea Roy, who decided to close the company in 1999 and now lives in the south of France.

The book includes plenty of stories from their time spent on the road, including run-ins with the East German police and escaping revolution in South America. Still, the house on Eton Avenue remains a fond memory for Gallea Roy: “It was a great space to set up our company and a lovely area to be based in.

“The neighbours didn’t mind our classical music spilling out into the streets much either.”

Here Today Gone Tomorrow: A Life In Dance by Christina Gallea Roy is published by Book Guild Publishing priced £17.99.

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