16 JUNE 1950, Page 15


"Le Lac des Cygnes." (Covent Garden.)

Tuts week critics were invited to see Beryl Grey in, the dual role of Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, an invitation which had been deferred owing to the dancer's illness in the earlier part of the year. She has, of course, appeared in this exacting part many times before, but it is always invigorating to have confirmation of the fact that a familiar traditional work can be brought to life again and again by the fresh interpretation of an impelling personality.

Up to now Miss de Valois, with her proved wisdom has kept Beryl Grey strictly within the limits of traditional inte4tretation. Now, and again with wisdom, she has decided that the time has come for this steadily maturing dancer to fly with her own wings. Naturally, such newly gained liberty was bound to bring with it some initial 'errors of judgement, and on Monday night Miss Grey made certain small innovations for which I did not care. Also she had the unavoidable handicap that her partneE, John Field, was evidently suffering from some physical strain and was unable to give her full confidence in his support. The performance, there- fore, was tinged with apprehension. But on the whole the evening left an impression not easy to forget, for Beryl Grey's dancing has become of such quality that mishaps cannot hide its real worth.

Her role was beautifully and truly interpreted, her execution sure and often brilliant, and the nobility and power—which for so young a person she possesses to an extraordinary extent—held the audience every moment she was on the stage. The supporting company seemed tired and lifeless, and were obviously feeling the strain of a prolonged and strenuous season. LILLIAN BROWSE.