It must have been something. (And I have difficulty seeing Merle Park in the role.)
It was something: Dame Merle Park was miscast as Isadora Duncan. I think Lynn Seymour would have been the best choice; but Ashton had already created a minor one act gem for her called "Dances in the Manner of Isadora Duncan" a few years earlier. MacMillan's full-length "Isadora" would have been an inferior 're-dux' for her. She had already scored a major triumph as the original Mary Vetsera in his (then) most recent full-evening work, "Mayerling" (1978). MacMillan might've wished to 'share the joy' by creating a full-length on Park for a change, but this was the wrong subject. Sibley created "Manon" (1974), although the role was created on Jennifer Penney due to Sibley's illness at the time, and Seymour created "Anastasia" (1971). Seymour at that point, had three full-lengths created for her: Mary, Anastasia and Juliet > if you count "Romeo & Juliet" (1965), in which Fonteyn got the premiers in London and New York. Seymour left the Royal in 1980 to direct the Bavarian State Opera Ballet in Munich. She returned for a short period in 1981 when this ballet was being choreographed, then she retired.
Park was laid out on the back seat of a Bugatti convertible onstage,
How did he deal with the fatal accident, BTW?
with the driver's side door wide open. I vaguely recall that she was
wearing a suit, with a matching cape and wide hat, complete with cigarette
and cigarette holder. What I can't remember is how the 'dance' got to that point.