Memorial Service

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Four months after Kenneth MacMillan died, his life and work was celebrated in a Memorial Service at Westminster Abbey. The Royal Ballet Sinfonia played music from his ballets, while Anthony Dowell read a tribute written by Dame Ninette de Valois, Founder of The Royal Ballet. Lynn Seymour read Cecil Day Lewis’s poem Pegasus.

A golden bridle came to him in sleep –
A mesh of immortal fire and sensual earth,
Pliant as love, compulsive as the sweep
Of light-years, brilliant as truth, perfect as death.
He dreamed a magic bridle, and next day
When he awoke, there to his hand it lay.

Wings furled on printless fee through the dews of morn
Pegasus stepped, in majesty and submission,
Towards him. Mane of tempest, delicate mien,
It was all brides, all thoroughbreds, all pent passion.
Breathing flowers upon him, it arched a superb
Neck to receive the visionary curb.

Pegasus said, ‘The bridle you found
In sleep, you yourself made. Your hard pursuit,
Your game with me upon this hallowed ground
Forged it, your failures tempered it. I am brute
And angel. He alone, who taps the source
Of both, can ride me. Bellerophon I am yours'.

View the Memorial Service Brochure