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These days in October 1979, Freddie is fiercely rehearsing with the Royal Ballet ๐Ÿฉฐ

Wayne Eaglingโ€™s first meeting with Freddie..

In August 1979, Royal Ballet principle Wayne Eagling went looking for a particularly limber star to join their ranks for a charity gala performance. After Kate Bush turned them down, Eagling turned his attention to Freddie Mercury.

Though his initial reaction was less than favorable (โ€œI thought they were mad!โ€), he eventually warmed to the idea after speaking to the head of EMI, Sir Joseph Lockwood, who also happened to be the chairman of the Royal Ballet board of governors. โ€œFreddie had a general interest in the ballet, but Lockwood really got him fired up,โ€ said Queen manager John Reid in The Great Pretender. โ€œHe was fascinated by the scale. It was epic. And everything about Freddieโ€™s performance was epic.โ€ It was a perfect match.

Wayne said, โ€œIt was a wonderful first meeting Freddie turned up wearing tights and ballet shoes. We all took one look at him and nearly fainted. I remember we were in the middle of rehearsing Bohemian Rhapsody, when in walked the choreographer Sir Frederick Ashton.โ€

He asked me what I was doing , then suddenly scowled at Freddie and demanded in a strangled voice

โ€œ AND WHO IS HE โ€œ

Homeย >ย PUBLIC APPEARANCESย >ย Freddie is fiercely rehearsing with the Royal Ballet

A little embarrassed, I replied โ€œ He a famous rock starโ€ Ashton looked at Freddie up and down and snapped:

โ€œ WELL HEโ€™S GOT TERRIBLE FEETโ€

โ€œPoor Freddie, and I thought he was being rather sweet, trying to point his toes so carefully, but fortunately he thought it was funny.โ€

Despite Mercuryโ€™s athletic performances with Queen, it would take intense rehearsals to get him up to par.

Wayne Eagling

Canadian ballet dancer, now retired. After more than twenty years as a popular member of The Royal Ballet in London, he became well known as an international choreographer and company director

โ€œThey (The Royal Ballet) asked me. They actually thought I could dance. So they asked me to do this charity concert. Then I realized, how I could dance. I appreciate their discipline and dedication a hell of a lot. I mean, itโ€™s a different kind of dedication than you have to apply to what Iโ€™m doing. I donโ€™t think I could ever do it because itโ€™s like learning someone elseโ€™s steps. I do things that I want to do and itโ€™s all very free-form. They had me practicing at the barre and all that, stretching my legsโ€ฆ trying to do things in a week that theyโ€™d been doing for years. It was murder. After two days I was in agony. It was hurting me in places I didnโ€™t know I had, dear.โ€

Freddie Mercury

Freddie made his grand ballet debut on 7 October at Londonโ€™s Coliseum Theater before 2,500 patrons.

He also met a young man in charge of the Royal Ballet wardrobe named Peter Freestone who Freddie chatted with following his brave performance.

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