Romeo and Juliet pas de deux

PrintE-mail

When Kenneth MacMillan’s ballet Romeo and Juliet was still in gestation, and before the management at Covent Garden had given the go-ahead, Lynn Seymour was invited to appear on CBC television in her native Canada. She asked Christopher Gable to join her on the programme. Inelegantly billed as Lynn Seymour, Our Dancing Export, it was described as “an incisive profile of the Canadian ballerina”. For the occasion, MacMillan offered to create a pas de deux from his envisaged production.

In her biography, Lynn Seymour recalls:

“In rehearsal Kenneth created a pas de deux which serves as the fulcrum for his work. Christopher and I – both in fine fettle – responded to what Kenneth wanted as if we three were under a potent spell. Like a man possessed, Kenneth completed the balcony pas-de-deux in three rehearsals”.

Shortly afterwards, MacMillan received the go-ahead for a full production of Romeo and Juliet. The commission for CBC meant that a key part of the eventual ballet’s architecture was already in place.