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Lynn Seymour 1939-2023

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The death of Lynn Seymour has just been announced. Seymour was one of the Royal Ballet's great ballerinas at a time when the company had many great dancers in its ranks. Although she came to be regarded as a MacMillan dancer and his muse because of the number of roles he created on her she also worked with Ashton on a number of major roles. Both Ashton and MacMillan created roles for her which remain part of the company's active repertory. She was an extraordinary dance actress and both choreographers exploited her dramatic skills and expressive qualities to the full.

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What sad news--a great, great ballerina.

What I remember best from seeing her -- and I saw her live very little -- was the role Ashton created for her in A Month in the Country. A tremendous performance.

Keith Money's photos of her performances as Juliet and in The Invitation (Macmillan's ballets, also created on her) made  huge impression on me years before I saw her in the theater. Her intensity leaped out of those photos....

May she rest in peace.

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Quite simply she was a goddess, utterly unique, her acting was superb and appeared instinctive.She was so much a part of the Royal Ballet's glory days, she entranced the audience and inspired choreographers.  The roles she created are still danced today, but seldom equaled.  May she rest in peace.

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When the Royal Ballet danced Dances at a Gathering in the 1970's, the roles were slightly rearranged from the one's NYCB did, and she danced (among other parts) the Verdy solo and the walking one, where she tried to flirt with three men.  She was so funny, I have never seen anyone make so much of every little gesture.

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I was mesmerized by Wall and Seymour in "Mayerling" on YouTube.  I can only imagine what she was like in person. A long and rich life with ups and downs and seemingly everything in between, lwith a permanent and major place in ballet history as described by AshtonFan. May she rest in peace.

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Seymour's first husband, Colin Jones, died last year. Ismene Brown interviewed him for The Arts Desk. Well worth a read.


So it was your photos that made Lynn notice you?

Yeah, yeah. Terry came back and told me, Lynn Seymour has invited you to dinner. We were in Athens. One of those posh rooftop restaurants, and you sit outside on top of the roof. I sat next to her, and that’s how it started. It was some of these pictures from the north-east of England, the slag heaps of Durham. Coal scavengers. Anyway, that’s how I got her attention, and then much to my parents’ disgust I lived with her - because I was actually living at home at the time. The big crunch for us came later, when Kenneth did Romeo and Juliet… We lived in John Cranko’s house, Alderney Street, in the basement. He let us have it.


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