#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.
Mention "flamenco" to anyone in the Cuban dance scene, and they are likely to bring up Irene Rodríguez. Artistic director of Compañía Irene Rodríguez, Cuba's premiere flamenco company, Rodríguez has shared the stage with such renowned flamenco artists as Eva Yerbabuena, María Juncal and Antonio Gades. She is also a faculty member at Havana's Fernando Alonso National Ballet School, and has served as a choreography consultant at Ballet Nacional de Cuba.
Irina Kolpakova in the studio with Katherine Williams. Photo by Quinn Wharton for Pointe.
Being coached by a treasure like former Kirov prima Irina Kolpakova is an experience most dancers only dream of. But company members at American Ballet Theatre have been the lucky beneficiaries of her wisdom since 1990. Thanks to Instagram, where pros like Gillian Murphy and James Whiteside share snippets of their sessions with Kolpakova, any ballet lover can be a fly on the wall during rehearsals with the famed ballet mistress.