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Kenneth MacMillan was a British dancer and choreographer of Scottish descent. He received a scholarship to study ballet at the Sadler's Wells Ballet School in 1945, and later became a member of its company. This is also where he created his first choreography. He served as a choreographer for the Royal Ballet between 1952 and 1964, and as both ballet director and choreographer for the Deutsch Oper Berlin from 1966 to 1969. In 1970, he returned to London, where he was appointed director of the Royal Ballet. He resigned in 1977, but continued to work as the company's principal choreographer until his death. Between 1984 and 1989, he also served as associate artistic director of New York's American Ballet Theatre. MacMillan was the most outstanding member of the generation of British choreographers to come after Sir Frederick Ashton. He created both large-scale three-act ballets and shorter one-act pieces, and also worked in both the genres of dramatic ballet and symphonic ballet. His works are still performed by many ensembles around the world, including the Ballet de l'Opéra national de Paris, the Royal Swedish Ballet, the Corpo di ballo del Teatro alla Scala, and the Wiener Staatsballet. His most important full-evening works are Romeo and Juliet (1965), Anastasia (1971), Manon (1974), Mayerling (1978) and The Prince of the Pagodas (1989).
Sir Kenneth MacMillan