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Sea of Troubles

Yorke Dance Project performs Kenneth MacMillan’s powerful short ballet inspired by Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Most recent performance

There are currently no scheduled performances of Sea of Troubles. It was last on stage 26 October—1 November 2017 as part of the Autumn 2017/18 season.


Kenneth MacMillan made Sea of Troubles in 1988 for Dance Advance, a dance ensemble composed of former members of The Royal Ballet. He intended it as a gift to the dancers, and crafted an intimate work for just six performers. The score uses music by the 20th-century masters Webern and Martinů. MacMillan described how his ballet responded to Shakespeare: ‘I have taken as a starting point the effect of the death of Hamlet’s father without a literal telling of the play. With the appearance of his father’s ghost, and Hamlet’s realization of the need for revenge, his tormented world becomes a nightmare.’

Yorke Dance Project has won acclaim as a dynamic, contemporary ballet company that is committed to presenting new work alongside the choreography of past masters. The company’s revival of Sea of Troubles was created in collaboration with the original cast and in full consultation with Deborah MacMillan, designer of the ballet and MacMillan’s widow.