Ismene Brown

Seeing the light | 19 October 2017

The 25th anniversary of MacMillan's death is finally giving us something to celebrate but the argument still rages about his extreme psychological underworld

Dance is an ephemeral art. It keeps few proper records of its products. Reputations are written in rumours and reviews. And by reputation, Kenneth MacMillan was the dark genius of British ballet — its destroyer, if you listen to some.

They think this country’s classical ballet reached its pinnacle under the Apollonian hand of Frederick Ashton, before MacMillan stomped in with his working-class neuroses and rape simulations and took ballet down to the psychological underworld.

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