Lynn Seymour

Lynn Seymour, born in Canada in 1939, is one of the great dramatic ballerinas of the second half of the 20th century. Barely fifteen, she went to the Sadler's Wells Ballet School in London on a scholarship, was engaged to the Sadler's Wells Opera Ballet in 1957 and in the same year danced with the Royal Ballet's Touring Company, where she was appointed soloist in 1958 and principal dancer in 1959 was when she also performed at the Royal Ballet Covent Garden.

The collaboration with the choreographer Kenneth MacMillan (in The Borrow) began as early as 1957, developing into one of the most important creative partnerships of these decades between a choreographer and his ballerina (The Invitation, Kiss of the Fairy, Romeo and Juliet, Anastasia, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake , Mayerling and others). A rich artistic relationship also developed between Seymour and Frederick Ashton, which began in 1961 with The Two Pigeons and would later culminate in A Month in the Country and the Five Brahms Waltzes in the Manner of Isadora Duncan. In 1966 Lynn Seymour followed Kenneth MacMillan as prima ballerina at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin and returned to London in 1971 to the Royal Ballet.

In 1978 August Everding appointed her director of the ballet of the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich. Here she fought for two years (November 16, 1978 – August 31, 1980) against the dependence of the ballet on the opera, which was to be overcome around ten years later with the founding of the Bavarian State Ballet. Nonetheless, during her short directorship in Munich, Lynn Seymour brought out, among other things, two world premieres by William Forsythe (Joyleen..., and Love Songs, the latter with dancers from the Stuttgart Ballet) as well as the Bournonville jewel La Sylphide, which remained in the repertoire for a long time. Her appearances as Cranko's Julia in these years, alongside Richard Cragun, will also remain unforgotten. Returning to London, her departure as a ballerina followed, taking the stage in sporadic character appearances such as the Queen Mother in Matthew Bourne's legendary production of Swan Lake. In the Canadian television series The Little Vampyr, she was able to bring her talent for the grotesque to bear incomparably.

Lynn Seymour, mother of three sons, lived in London for a long time and passed on her experiences with the ballets of Kenneth MacMillan and Frederick Ashton as a coach to younger generations of dancers all over the world. This was also the case in 2010 when she returned to the Bayerisches Staatsballett to rehearse Five Brahms Waltzes in the Manner of Isadora Duncan, which was part of the mixed bill evening Steps and Times. In 1984 her autobiography Lynn was published. Lynn Seymour passed away on March 7, 2023.