This autumn sees a wide-ranging programme of events in honour of British choreographer Sir Kenneth MacMillan, who would have been 80 on 11 December had he lived.

MacMillan died backstage at the Opera House in 1992 during a revival of his ballet Mayerling. This will be the season-opening performance by The Royal Ballet (in rep from 7 October), where MacMillan was Director (1970–77) and Principal Choreographer (1977–1992). The Royal Ballet also performs a mixed bill of MacMillan’s Concerto, The Judas Tree and Elite Syncopations (in rep from 23 March 2010).

On 17 September, Jann Parry’s much-anticipated biography, Different Drummer, will be published, followed by an exhibition of oils and watercolours by MacMillan’s widow, the artist Lady Deborah MacMillan (5–10 October). There is also a conference at Imperial College London (8 November) in association with the Institute of Psychoanalysis which examines the psychoanalytic subtext of MacMillan’s ballets. Contributors include Jann Parry, Director of the Royal Ballet Monica Mason, and Nicholas Hytner whose celebrated National Theatre production of Carousel was the last choreography MacMillan made.

To mark the 80th anniversary of the choreographer’s birth on 11 December a Kenneth MacMillan website will go live.  Curated by the journalist and academic Brendan McCarthy, the website will feature comprehensive information about his career and ballets.