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Choreographer Kenneth MacMillan's appointment as director or the Royal Ballet in 1970 marked the moment when British ballet grew up. MacMillan had moved away from fairytale topics into more adult territory and emotions, and 'Mayerling' from 1978 is a fine example. Based on the real-life story of Crown Prince Rudolf, the Austro-Hungarian prince who died mysteriously in 1889, this is ballet as psychological drama with lashings of sex, death and intrigue.

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