Where would you be without Swan Lake?
It’s the thing that opened up everything else to me. The irony is that this is the only version that a lot of young people have seen and they think that it’s odd to have women as swans.
Did Black Swan give dancers a bad rep?
In ways I don’t think it was stereotypical enough! Because it was all very heterosexual, the gay aspect of dance seemed to be completely not there at all. Dance is more popular than it’s been for many years, and Black Swan has a lot to do with that.
As an autograph hunter in your teens, who was your best “get”?
Fred Astaire was my idol and I met him many times, to the point where he waved at me from a car once. It feels like so long ago now. People are a bit shocked when I say that I’ve met Charlie Chaplin — it feels like something from history.
Have you met any of those stars since?
I’ve had lunch at Barbra Streisand’s house, a pool party at Liz Taylor’s house. With Babs it was just me and her, but the Liz one was a family party. Liz wasn’t someone who really listened. She held court — you could say stuff but I’m not sure it would go in. Certainly not now anyway.
We’re doing The Nutcracker at Sadler’s this Christmas. For our 25th anniversary next year we have a lot of plans — revivals and a new piece at the end of the year.
read all via The TimesPhoto: Jonathan Ollivier and Dominic North in Swan Lake by Bill Cooper