The Dance for Life gala was a benefit performance, produced by Gillian Lynne, to help victims of HIV and AIDS. AIDS had devastated the dance world and there was a particular poignancy about the gala’s timing as the disease had recently claimed two prominent victims from the world of British dance. They were Michael Bachelor, formerly of the Royal Ballet, and Adrian Ward-Jackson, who had been chairman of the Arts Council’s dance panel. Bachelor was also a founder member of Dance Advance for which Kenneth MacMillan had choreographed Sea of Troubles in 1988.
MacMillan’s contribution to the gala at Her Majesty’s Theatre was a short romantic pas de deux for Leanne Benjamin and Stephen Jefferies. At the time Benjamin was in Berlin with the Deutsch Oper Ballet, where MacMillan had been working with her on Different Drummer.