As bombs fell on London, and aged only fourteen, she joined Ninette de Valois’s ballet Company, touring Britain during WWII. Despite the difficulties of wartime Britain, as a true artist Beryl quickly became one of the finest ballerinas England has ever produced. Unprecedented in the history of ballet, she first danced the full length Swan Lake on her fifteenth birthday, Giselle at sixteen and Princess Aurora at nineteen, becoming a leading ballerina as the Company (which became the Royal Ballet) travelled through war-ravaged Britain and Europe, and embarked on the now-famous tours of the United States. Beryl became an international dance star – the first English ballerina to dance in Soviet Russia at the Bolshoi and in Communist China.
Having retired from dancing, Beryl became the Artistic Director of the then severely weakened Festival Ballet. Through her love of dance, her vision, her expertise and her sheer hard work, over ten years she transformed that Company with new dancers, new ballets, a new home and new audiences. But even with all her success as Artistic Director, it was then that Beryl met her nemesis – the multi-talented, deeply troubled, Rudolf Nureyev.
Based on her letters and diaries, For the Love of Dance is an extraordinary tale of an extraordinary woman and a life given to her first love – dance.
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