Here Today, Gone Tomorrow by Christina Gallea
HERE TODAY, GONE TOMORROW by Christina Gallea (Book Guild, £17.99)
For 25 years Christina Gallea and her husband Alexander Roy toured the world with the small classical ballet company that they founded together, initially called International Ballet Caravan, and then, for most of its life, Alexander Roy London Ballet Theatre.
Christina was born in Australia, and came to Europe at 16 to further her dance career. While rehearsing with a US ballet company she met Alexander, who had left East Germany to dance in the West. The book is fascinating on several levels; for those interested in dance there are vignettes of the big names they worked with in their early days – Leonide Massine, Boris Kochno, Kurt Joos and Walter Gore. It takes us into rehearsal rooms in London and Paris, and follows their success as a company of very high quality.
In addition to giving a glimpse behind the scenes in the dance world from 1960s to the 1990s, this is full of fascinating anecdotes and unusual characters, illustrated with a treasure trove of photographs.
It recounts an adventure that took their dancers to 30 different countries, and Christina tells us about the highs and lows and challenges of life on tour, how they narrowly escaped revolution in South America, survived being mugged in the Phillipines, and had run-ins with the East German Police.
You finish the book amazed that they managed to keep going despite a myriad of problems, and it’s with some relief that you read, finally, that this courageous, adventurous couple are now happily retired in a villa in the south of France.