Merle Park (unpublished)


In the interview, Park discusses her initial role as understudy for Lise in Fille mal Gardee. She discusses the collaboration between the dancers and the choreographer Sir Frederick Ashton. This interview has not been published in any of Newman's books.

Biographical note:
Merle Park was born in Salisbury, Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe) and joined the Royal Ballet in 1954. She created the role of Clara in Rudolph Nureyev’s staging of The Nutcracker in 1964. She is often described as being very musical and having perfect technique. While at the Royal Ballet, she danced the role of Giselle in Milkmaid more than any other Royal Ballerina. In the 1970’s Kenneth MacMiller wrote many role for her, one being Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. She became a teacher and director at the Royal Ballet School from 1983 to 1998. She was named Dame Commander in the Order of the British Empire in 1986.




New York, NY




“Merle Park (unpublished),” Dance Dialogues: Interviews by Barbara Newman, 1979-Present, accessed September 24, 2020,