Lynn Seymour

Counting Anastasia

Kenneth MacMillan was, during my Royal Ballet years, the central choreographer in my life. Kenneth had asked me to appear in Romeo and Juliet as Tybalt, it did not happen. Instead I became Paris, but I did get a fantastic review in New York for those performances.

As a choreographer, Kenneth was one of those count people. Every second of each of his many ballets was counted. I found that it was impossible to work without the counts, you had to learn them, as a reference point. It drove me crazy, but I had to comply.

When we started working on Anastasia, I asked Lynne Seymour if she counted. Oh yes. So I had to submit, and count. It destroyed so many compositions for me . I could not just listen to the music for years after I had performed in the ballets, without automatically counting. Can you imagine counting from the beginning of the Rite of Spring, to the finish?”