In Summer 1956 Nadia Nerina and Alexis Rassine toured the English regions with their Ballet Highlights programme consisting mostly of various pas de deux. Early performances were indifferently reviewed by some critics; The Manchester Guardian complained that the pas de deux lacked impact torn, as they were, from context and anthologised.
MacMillan created a bravura pas de deux, Fireworks, which received its first performance in Oxford, later in the tour. It seems to have had the necessary effect. For Dance and Dancers, Fireworks was by far the most interesting part of the programme “rather in the manner of the solos from Noctambules”.