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Kenneth MacMillan
MacMillan towards the end of his life

Sir Kenneth MacMillan (11 December 1929 – 29 October 1992) was a British ballet dancer and choreographer who was artistic director of the Royal Ballet in London between 1970 and 1977, and its principal choreographer from 1977 until his death. Earlier he had served as director of ballet for the Deutsche Oper in Berlin. He was also associate director of the American Ballet Theatre from 1984 to 1989, and artistic associate of the Houston Ballet from 1989 to 1992.

From a family with no background of ballet or music, MacMillan was determined from an early age to become a dancer. The director of Sadler's Wells Ballet, Ninette de Valois, accepted him as a student and then a member of her company. In the late 1940s, MacMillan built a successful career as a dancer, but, plagued by stage fright, he abandoned it while still in his twenties. After this he worked entirely as a choreographer; he created ten full-length ballets and more than fifty one-act pieces. In addition to his work for ballet companies he was active in television, musicals, non-musical drama, and opera.

Although he is mainly associated with the Royal Ballet, MacMillan frequently considered himself an outsider there and felt driven to work with other companies throughout his career as choreographer. His creations for the Stuttgart Ballet and the Deutsche Opera ballet include some of his most frequently revived works.

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