#TBT: Lynn Seymour and Sir Anthony Dowell in "A Month in the Country" (1978)

When New York Times dance critic Alastair Macaulay first saw The Royal Ballet's Lynn Seymour and Sir Anthony Dowell in Sir Frederick Ashton's A Month in the Country, he was “thunderstruck." Reflectively, he wrote, “I've still never seen feet so expressive or beautiful…Ms. Seymour remains my ultimate dance-actress," and that Dowell, “extended our idea of masculinity in ballet into unsurpassed poetry." Ashton adapted A Month in the Country from a 19th century Russian play of the same name. This clip features the original 1976 cast: Seymour dances the role of Natalia, an elegant housewife whose life is thrown into turmoil when she, her daughter and the maid all fall for the young tutor Beliaev, danced by Dowell.


Though simple, the story is rich in its emotional depth, and Seymour and Dowell dance it brilliantly. Macaulay wasn't the only one who thought so: throughout her long career as a principal at The Royal Ballet, Seymour was lauded as one of the greatest dramatic actress of her time. In this pas de deux, we can see why. Seymour seems to orchestrate each tender movement. Enraptured by her love for Beliaev, she thrusts her head back in their embraces and caresses him with a maturity that the virginal female characters of classical ballet rarely exhibit. Even when the lovers are discovered and she obviates disaster with a composed façade, Seymour shows us the gravity of the suppressed love in Natalia's heart. Happy #ThrowbackThursday!

Latest Posts


Laurent Liotardo (post-production by Nik Pate), Courtesy ENB

Catch English National Ballet’s Rising Stars in the Emerging Dancer Competition Livestream

The coronavirus pandemic may have postponed English National Ballet's annual Emerging Dancer competition last spring, but the show must go on—digitally! You can still watch ENB's best and brightest talent during the competition's livestream, taking place on September 22 at 7:20 pm BST (that's 2:20 pm ET). Now in its 11th year, the competition for the Emerging Dancer Award will be broadcast live from the company's East London production studio for the first time. Tickets are available for $6.99 per device and will remain available to view on demand until September 29.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
From left: Alaina Broyles, Courtesy Werner; Courtesy Underwood

Gaynor Minden's Latest Dancer Lineup Features a Body-Positivity Activist and Its First Guy

Pointe shoe brand Gaynor Minden recently welcomed 32 young dancers to its coveted roster of Gaynor Girls. But this year, the company included two applicants who push the boundaries of what it means to dance on pointe. While both Mason Simon Underwood and Colleen Werner are longtime GM wearers, they stand out from the rest of this year's group: Underwood is the first ever Gaynor Guy, and Werner is a body-positivity activist.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Dylan Giles, Courtesy Festival Ballet Providence

Festival Ballet Providence's New Leap Year Program Gives Dancers Facing a Gap Year a Place to Grow

A new training program at Festival Ballet Providence called Leap Year is welcoming pre-professional and professional dancers who don't have a studio or company to dance for this season.

The endeavor is the brainchild of Kathleen Breen Combes, FBP's executive and artistic director. "I kept getting these emails of dancers saying they just need a place to train this year," says Combes. "I thought, What if we could provide a space for dancers to get stronger, experiment and try new things in a nonjudgmental and no-pressure environment?"

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks