Alexander Roy Collection

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

This collection contains programmes, photos, publicity materials, and press reviews related to the performances of Alexander Roy London Ballet (also known as International Ballet Caravan).

It includes a complete itinerary for the company.

Administrative / Biographical History

Drawing on the creative partnership of Alexander Roy and Christina Gallea who mounted a concert programme Soiree de Paris (1963-64), International Ballet Caravan was founded in Paris in 1965. It was re-named International Ballet Caravan in 1965 when it expanded to a small touring group and finally became the Alexander Roy London Ballet from 1974.

Alexander Roy was the director of the company throughout its existence, choreographed the bulk of the repertory and danced with the Company. Christina Gallea was the company's ballerina, Associate Director and supervised the lighting and costumes for many productions.

The company was a mixed international group which over its existence employed nearly 300 dancers many performing for just one or two seasons but with a handful, notably Prue Sheridan remaining for many seasons. Many had significant careers in dance.

The repertory consisted of original ballets by Alexander Roy. These were initially one-act works but from 1980 full programme works, the first and most successful of which was A Midsummer Night's Dream, were choreographed and began to dominate the repertoire. Other choreographers who worked with the company included Prue Sheridan, Terry Gilbert and Piers Beaumont. The mixed bills also included extracts from established repertoire Les Sylphides, the pas de trois from Swan Lake and the pas de deux from Don Quixote, Casse Noisette, and the Bluebird pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty.

Financially independent and without sponsorship apart from a few specific projects the company began touring in Germany, Switzerland, France, Austria, The Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain and Eire. It also served as the opera ballet at Glyndebourne in 1968 and 1970 and at the Theatre de la Monnaie, Brussels in 1970.In 1974, coinciding with its name change, the company's base moved to London. It continuing its work in Europe, South America, South East Asia and from 1988 tours of North America. The company averaged eight dancers and three musicians.

The company ceased operations for four years from 1994 and reformed for eighteen months in 1998-99 when it presented Alice in Wonderland.

Alexander Roy is of French-Polish origin and began his career at the State Oper in East Berlin. He joined American Festival Ballet on tour in Western Germany and danced with Amsterdam Ballet and Netherlands Dans Theatre.

Christina Gallea was born in Australia and began her career with Walter Gore's Australian Theatre Ballet. She travelled to Europe to continue her training with Audrey de Vos, Stanislas Idzikowski, Anna Northcott and Nora Kiss. She worked again with Gore and a number of companies in Europe before dancing with American Festival Ballet where she met Alexander Roy. She now writes on dance. In 2012 she published Here Today Gone Tomorrow A Life in Dance which details the history of the company.

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.

Conditions Governing Access

This archive collection is available for consultation in the V&A Blythe House Archive and Library Study Room by appointment only. Full details of access arrangements may be found here: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/a/archives/

Access to some of the material may be restricted. These are noted in the catalogue where relevant.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Alexander Roy and Christine Gallea.

Conditions Governing Use

Information on copying and commercial reproduction may be found here: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/a/archives/

Appraisal Information

This collection was appraised in line with the collection management policy.

Accruals

No further accruals are expected.

Related Material

See also the core collections of the V&A Theatre and Performance Department. Material may be found in several collections, including the dance company files

Please ask for details.