Dance History

#tbt: Lynn Seymour, The Original Heroine of MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet

Sir Frederick Ashton created Five Brahms Waltzes in the Manner of Isadora Duncan on Lynn Seymour. Photo by Anthony Crickmay, Courtesy DM Archives

In the June 1963 issue of Dance Magazine, we profiled a young Royal Ballet dancer named Lynn Seymour. At 14, she was invited to move to London to study at the Royal Ballet School. The Vancouver native told us she arrived "terribly excited and more than a little scared. I just sunk my teeth in and started to work." It paid off.


When we spoke to her, she was on the cusp of stardom: In 1964 Sir Kenneth MacMillan created his Romeo and Juliet "Balcony Pas de Deux" for her, followed by the full-length ballet, which premiered the following year (though, due to box office concerns, Dame Margot Fonteyn danced opening night). Seymour's Juliet cemented her status as one of the foremost dance actresses of her generation, and she would serve as MacMillan's muse for many of the most iconic roles in his ballets, including Mary Vetsera in the psychological drama Mayerling.

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