Press Quotes

Alexander Roy’s new work, Circuit, set to music by Bach, deals with the pattern of our lives, from birth, through marriage to age and then death. Well danced and presented, this augers well for Mr. Roy. He is a choreographer to watch.
(Peter Noble, What’s On in London, 1965)

The main interest was in two fresh ballets by Alexander Roy, the company’s director. Ballet Concertant in essence was saying: “How glorious to see men and women dancing in patterns which display elegance, joy and a pleasing kind of mathematical logic. This essay in pure dancing was, as such things always are, a stringent test of its maker’s imagination and above all, sense of proportion.
(A.V.Coton, The Daily Telegraph, London 1967)

Mr Roy has distinct invention as a choreographer. He never sinks into the classroom cliché.
(Alexander Bland, The Observer, London 1967)

The (Immoral) Story of a Small Town and The Visit of an Old Lady- The fantastic, decadent Atmosphere is well captured and the central role of the Woman is played with authority by Christina Gallea. Choreographically ( and this was even more apparent in Suite for Dancers), Roy uses steps from various dance techniques in a free and original style. It could develop interestingly.
Katherine Sorley-Walker, The Daily Telegraph, 1967

Alexander Roy (from Berlin) is the choreographer, and he is a very able one too. He is eclectic and, apart from a basic classical tradition, one can discern the influence of Joos, Graham and Tudor. The Gentleman Caller on the ‘Glass Menagerie’ theme of Tennessee Williams is most skilfully arranged to César Franck’s Quintet, in his moments of torment and ecstasy, Roy is true to the music but weaves a choreography which would be a pleasure to look at even without music. It is a very rare experience to see so accomplished a work by an unfamiliar choreographer. There is an air of distinction about the company.
(Richard Buckle, The Sunday Times, London 1969)

The most noticeable thing about this company is the magnificent and exceedingly well-matched technique displayed by all the members. The Gentleman Caller inspired by Tennessee William’s “The Glass Menagerie”, though including some ingenious use of dance sequence, remains too literary in theme, even when it diverges widely from the original source, but gives the company ballerina, Christina Gallea, an opportunity to use her fine acting as well as dancing ability.

Circuit, a pleasant, conventional pas de trois on love and jealousy expertly danced by Miss Gallea, Alexander Roy and Prue Sheridan, and Capriccio, an enchanting nonsense danced by Jennifer Turner, Bill Duthie, Bob Smith and Glenda Streeter complete the programme.
(The Stage and Televison Today, London 1969) 

Spectacle intéressant au Théatre de l’Ouest Parisien donné par l’International Ballet Caravan, qui se produit pour la première fois à Paris. Jeune troupe, très dynamique, composée d’élément differents, de taille, de personalité et qui n’ont du commun que leur technique et leur intelligence scénique.

L”Histoire d’Une Petite Ville et la Visite d’Une Vieille Dame, d’après l’oeuvre de F. Dŭrrenmatt, place violemment les spectateurs dans l’atmosphère irrespirable de cette ville. Christina Gallea, la vieille dame, incarne ce personage extravagant et cruel avec une très grande intensité dramatique entourée par un groupe qui sait évouler sur scène avec naturel. L’entr’acte rompt ce climat de magie noire; cette fois Christina Gallea apparait sous les traits d’une étoile ( dans La Favorita). Spirituellement, elle caricature les attitudes particulières de divas d’une époque révolue avec brio, humour et abbatage. A l’inverse, son excellent partenaire, Alexander Roy, affirme discrètement sa position de soliste evince….Le dernier ballet Nepentha, reunite tous les interprètes dans une oeuvre pleine d’imagination, de recherches heureuses, appropriée à chaque interprète.  

Un voeu: celui de revoir cette sympathique compagnie au Théatre de la Ville.
(Ginette Chabetay, Art et Danse, Paris 1971)

Fanfares is an impressionistic look at the art of James Ensor. The dancers are fantastically masked and made-up; their movements are like those of fairground automata and we are constantly reminded that puppets are not necessarily kind or good. This same nightmare world is the location for The (Immoral) Story of a Small Town and The Visit on an Old Lady, which begins with a wedding veil that might also be a shroud born aloft  by elemenatals as they pace out their requiem for little people. Christina Gallea dominated this work which employs words as well as a score. Nepentha, which concluded the programme, brought on the full company, admirably led by Prue Sheridan.
(The Stage and Television Today, London 1972)

At The Cockpit Theatre an enthusiastic and likable group called International Ballet Caravan presented a programme of  ballets by Alexander Roy, of which the first Fanfares, drew its inspiration from the clownish crowd figures of that interesting Belgian-born Painter, James Ensor, magic lantern slides of whose pictures formed a prelude. The sound track then played, then crowd noises, fair ground marches, effects of fireworks and storms at sea. Mostly in white tights with trimmings of bedraggled hats and umbrellas, the dancers grovelled, pranced or formed strange clusters, looking perhaps to the dismissive eye, like end-of-term charades at an art school, but achieving striking images of bum-to-bum or crawling togetherness of louche masked characters which got close to catching the spirit of this strange painter in some of his moods.

The dancers were waves in a rough sea or survivors on a raft; they were strutting bandsmen; they were afflicted beggars and drunks. The tolling of bells sent them to their knees. Fireworks set them off standing on their heads in amazement. The gymnastic prowess was admirable, quite like the Military Tournament. Taut muscles, sharp pointes, ingenious pantomime-horse assemblies took the eye briefly and the masks leered at us in a surprising fashion.
(Philip Hope-Wallace, The Guardian, London 1972)

The strongest item in the second programme of Alexander Roy’s London Ballet Theatre was also the simplest- Visages d’une Femme’ to a score by Jacob Druckman, is a fairly old-fashioned sex triangle in which a siren – perhaps a female spider- is pursued by two males until she finally subdues them both. Christina Gallea gave a powerful performance in a slightly Gallic style- all stabbing toes and venomous wrists- with Alexander Roy, the choreographer, and Jean-Marie Dubrul, a massive figure with a Kojak coiffure, as her well-contrasted suitors. It was effectively designed and, like the whole programme, well lit.
(Alexander Bland, The Observer, London 1976)

The ballet was Voices, which Roy, the choreographer, has composed to Crumbs’ “Ancient Voices of Children”. He has also taken cues from Paul Delvaux’ paintings,  and the resulting slow-motion choreography – atmosphere reminiscent of “L’Année Dernière à Marienbad” – is a haunting series of images. The cast sustained it admirably, with Christina Gallea, Jean-Marie Dubrul and Francis Pedros particularly memorable.

Roy’s Pasquinade is an ideal closing work, to a good Gottschalk score, with the dancers performing a charming comedy sketch in “The Dying Poet” – a witty blend of movement and mime – and some delicately humorous circus impressions.

(Katherine Sorley-Walker, The Daily Telegraph, London 1976)

Dance can be lots of fun, and Alexander Roy’s Castles in the Air, is just that. It has a holiday feeling about it with a young man taking a lazy nap on a sea wall before larking about with three girls. The dance style cleverly matches Jacques Ibert’s witty music, from a wedding march to a light-hearted waltz with the girls playing at butterflies. Francis Pedros’lively dancing kept the mood bubbling and he had an attractive foil in Prue Sheridan.
(Evening Standard, London 1976)

The presentation is highly competent and the programme judiciously varied.
(John Percival, The Times, London 1976)

To put on A Midsummer Night’s Dream as a two-act ballet is a bold enterprise at any time; when you have a company of only ten dancers, it appears positively foolhardy. But, with some doubling of roles and a firm refusal to acknowledge boundaries of sex, Alexander Roy carries it off surprisingly well in his new production for his London Ballet Theatre. …this Dream is really quite an achievement.
(John Percival, The Times, 1981)

A Smile at the Bottom of the Ladder – Characteristically this artist was sensitive and sad underneath the clown-like exterior – and Francis Pedros left a vivid impression of pathos, while dancing with vivacious fluency. Roy’s set, with its looped roles on high, its mixture of circus entrances, and grand salon furniture, was dominated by the all-important ladder: its was simple and effective. Choreographically, has cleverly shaped the steps to show the strengths of his dancers, Prue Sheridan, Christine Lassauvageux, Gillian Winn, Glenda Nicholls, Katherine Mackenzy, Jayne Clarke and Alan Watson.
(Ann Nugent, The Stage, 1981)

Bridal processions shuffling across the stage on their knees, a mysterious golden ball passed from dancer to dancer and weird emblematic figures engaging in superbly surreal effects – these were the highlights of Voices.  It was one of three short ballets performed by the Alexander Roy London Ballet Theatre at the Bloomsbury Theatre, almost mystical dance that displayed the talents of this company. To the excellent choice of George Crumb’s otherworldly music, Ancient Voices of Children, Alexander Roy has created a series of splendidly grotesque masques on the themes of union and domination.
(The Ham & High, London 1982)

The Alexander Roy London Ballet Theatre gave a delightful performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream when it opened at the Bloomsbury Theatre last Tuesday. The choreography is by Alexander Roy and he has also designed the set – a dream- like sylvan fantasy in pale green, with stylised bare trees and a red sandstone ruin, a pillar and an archway.

More than any other set that I have seen, this caught the atmosphere of this Shakespeare play – one felt that one could easily come up on that “ bank where the wild thyme blows”, and where Titania sleeps. The choreography was varied, fresh and imaginative, full of surprises and little welcome human touches, especially for the young lovers, some very real portraiture of young love. Alexander Roy’s strong dance style and aptitude for humour had ample scope in the comic episodes with himself as Bottom the weaver, especially with the yokels rehearsing their play – all could have come straight out of a Breughel painting.
(The Morning Star, London 1982)

Any ballet-goer with a long memory who can look back to the 1940’s would find two surprises in Alexander Roy’s new production A Smile at the Bottom of the Ladder given its London premiere last night by his London Ballet Theatre at the Bloomsbury Theatre. It belongs to the world of the young Roland Petit, or of Andrée Howard’s Mardi Gras when a favourite balletic theme was carnival jollity turning to a nightmare.

An artist under the spell of cabaret or circus gaiety- the scenic influence is Toulouse Lautrec- gradually finds himself with despair and death. Its strength lies in the alluring qualities of the set, costumes and lighting and in excellent performances especially from Prue Sheridan and Esther Linley.

In Voices Roy has created a brilliantly controlled and inventive ballet. The significance of its complex surrealistic action linking Lorca, Crumb and Paul Delvaux, remains for the most part a puzzlement, but this is immaterial. What matters is its visual harmony of choreography and design and its imaginative use of dancers alone or in pairs, in movement or repose, to evoke and sustain a mood of enchanted fantasy.
(Katherine Sorley Walker, The Daily Telegraph, London 1982)

Das International Congress Center, das meistens nur mit Ballettmusik aus der Konserve aufwartet, ŭberraschte diesmal mit einem Quartett, das zu Shakespeare’s Sommernachtstraum die romantischen Sonaten von Giacomo Rossini spielte. Getanzt wurden sie vom Alexander Roy London Ballet Theatre.

Die jungen Liebespaare, vor allem Antoinette Goodfellow, als Helena, bezaubern in ihrem Űbermut und der Verwirrung ihrer Gefŭhle. Als behender und beweglicher Puck zeigt Colleen Barsley fast akrobatische Leistungen. Die Handwerker sind schőn tolpatschig und derb. Die Feekőnigen Caroline Heming wahrhaft Feenhaft. Es gab viel Beifall, nicht zuletzt auch fŭr das nobel spielende Fairfield-Quartett.
(Berliner Morgenpost, Berlin 1984)

Am 27.11.84 tanzte das Alexander Roy London Ballet Theatre Shakespeare’s Sommernachtstraum nach Sonaten von Giacomo Rossini, die hervorragend vom Fairfield Quartett dargeboten wurden, im ICC Berlin. Alexander Roy war fŭr die Regie, Choreographie und das Bŭhnenbild verantwortlich. Er tanzte den Zettel fantasiereich und gekonnt. Colleen Barsley als Droll, Caroline Heming als Feekőnigen und Hugo Bregman als Feekőnig entzŭckten als anmŭtige Waldgeister. Die beiden Liebenden, getanzt von Sheila Styles und Antoinette Goodfellow, waren frőhlich, frisch und technisch ausgezeichnet. Lustig und gekonnt tapsig tanzten die Handwerker. Es war ein erfreulicher Abend mit viel Beifall.
(Orpheus, Berlin 1984)

Beauty and the Beast ….the main strength of the ballet comes from the fact that Roy has succeeded in creating great poetry with simple and powerful images.
(Neu Zŭricher Nachrichten, Zurich 1985)

Das Gastspiel des Alexander Roy London Ballet Theatre in der Komische Oper zeigte, wie mit nur vierzehn Tànzern abwechslungsreiches, originelles and phantasievolles Tanztheater gemachte werden kann.
(Martin G. Butter, Tribune, Berlin 1987)

Alexander Roy’s production of The Magic Flute came as a surprise to last night’s audience. What a pleasant surprise ! The company’s previous visit with A Midsummer Night’s Dream enjoyed a triumphant success and was now followed by a version of Mozart’s masterpiece. Alexander Roy has followed the narrative with imaginative choreography, interspersing moments of humour and drama. The strength and vitality of the performers, assisted by imaginative, extravagant costumes presented ballet at its best.

Caroline Heming was a fascinating Queen of the Night, exercising her demonic beauty with perfection. John Broome excited us some years ago as Puck and could repeat his triumph now with the humorous figure of Papageno and Mark Longthorn gave Tamino a lyrical and natural interpretation. Graham Woodward’s interpretation of the evil Monostatos was brilliant and as a perfect contrast, Nicole Walmsley’s Pamina was pure and ethereal.

Alexander Roy’s reputation is enriched with this new work and another proof of his artistic imagination and choreographic mastery. It is an exceptional treat to see such a satisfying interpretation of The Magic Flute.
(The Rhine Post, Cologne, Germany 1988)

The London company, which numbers twelve dancers, including its founder and director, Alexander Roy, brings accomplished dancing and glossy production elements to this full-length ballet, which Mr Roy choreographed in 1980. This production achieves an atmosphere of enchantment without the visual overload found in some other versions. The setting and costumes are part of a balanced and unified whole, fulfilling aesthetic aspects without subordinating the dancing to them. The set design, also by Mr Roy, uses as a backdrop a large, leafless, almost stylized tree for the woodland realm where Puck, Oberon and Titania sprinkle love potions with careless abandon. The imaginative lighting design by Christina Gallea, who co-directs the company, adds to the magical quality that informs the ballet. Costumes designed by Ms. Gallea and Nan Fullarton are appealing and effective, floating  behind the dancers like remnants of a lovely dream.

Most impressive is the consistent use of dancing, rather than gesture, to convey character and plot. While other choreographers have substituted mime for movement to further the narrative elements, Mr Roy has applied choreographic proficiency to the creation of dance sequences through which the technically accomplished dancers move with a spirited elegance.
(The New York Times, 1992)

La Flute Enchantée…..La chorégraphie d’Alexander Roy restitue l’ambiance de cette Egypte imaginaire et suit de près la trame de l’opéra de Mozart. De sa formation dans les tradition des maitres russes, Alexander Roy a conserve une certaine idée de la beauté faite d’élégance et de rigeur. Il le demande avec éclat dans toutes ces figures d’une grande finesse oǜ se melent un humour discret et une grande noblesse.

Ces qualités conviennent bien à cette troupe marquée par une haute technique dans laquelle se distinguent des solistes de grand talent.
(Dauphine Libéré, Aix-les Bains 1993)

Very curious! One suspects that most of the audience who had come to see Alexander Roy London Ballet Theatre’s production (Alice, Dreams and Wonderland) were expecting lots of jolly japes with Mad Hatters and White Rabbits. Well, the Hatter and the Rabbit were certainly there, but only as elements of a highly abstract, full-length ballet that appeared more concerned with fusing Alice’s dream world to the relationship between Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) and Alice Liddell, her sisters and family.

The diverse choice of music matched the challenge of Alexander Roy’s abstract vision, with the very good looking company of dancers combining strict classical skills and modern elements to a quite superb standard.
(Jeremy Evans, Chichester Observer 1998)

The stage curtain glides open; the sound of murmuring string instruments and softly coloured lights create the unreal atmosphere of a dream-world. Figures become visible moving with  grace and elegance in the multi-coloured rays of light. One hundred years after the death of the English author, Lewis Carroll, Alexander Roy has created a ballet drawing inspiration from Carroll’s famous stories. The production takes the audience on a journey through Alice’s dream-world for which Alexander Roy is responsible for both the production and the choreography.

The subtly suggestive stage set is in contrast to the bold colour and liveliness of the performance. A backcloth of blues and greens is seen through a tunnel-like opening. An oversized ladder reaches up to the sky, a garden swing becomes a throne, a table is transformed into a door. This dream-world is peopled by a collection of extraordinary characters, such as the Frog-Butler, the March Hare, a Gryphon, the White Knight and a Cheshire Cat. The standard of all the dancing was of the highest quality and Tweedledee and Tweedledum were not alone in impressing with their remarkable precision.
(Kőlner Stadt-Anzeiger, Cologne 1998)