Lockyer, pictured adjusting dancer Winifried Kirsch's costume at the 1967 filming of the Kurt Jooss ballet The Green Table, played an important part in the development of dance in the UK. For 40 years, he worked at the BBC, where he was responsible for dance programmes, including creating the “Dance for the Camera” strand, a series of more than 50 short dance works that has won the Prix Italia, International Emmys and the Prague d’Or. He was the first chair of Dance UK, and has taught and lectured around the world.
For the birthday celebrations, Lockyer has invited Alston, Baldwin, Davies, McGregor and Mason to curate an evening of original choreography, either by creating new work or by commissioning young talent. Richard Alston and Mark Baldwin will create new works for the occasion. Siobhan Davies has commissioned a work from Charlie Morrissey, from her own company, while Monica Mason has chosen Sebastian Goffin, a graduate-year student from The Royal Ballet School. Wayne McGregor has picked Rob Binet, a choreographic apprentice at The Royal Ballet.
The one-off performance will feature dancers from Rambert Dance Company, Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, Richard Alston Dance Company, London Contemporary Dance School and The Royal Ballet School, with music played live. As well as performing Alston’s homage to Lockyer, Richard Alston Dance Company will end the evening with a performance of Shuffle It Right.
Bob Lockyer said: “Dance in all its forms has been part of my life for over 40 years, along with those who perform it, create it and teach it. I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate my 70th birthday than by asking friends to present new works for this performance, supporting younger talents and giving us all a night to remember. Thanks to their generosity, and yours, it will also raise funds to support the future.”
Tickets for the performance cost £20, including a £10 donation to be shared between two funds supporting the creation of new dance works, the Royal Philharmonic Society Drummond Fund and The Place’s Pioneering Fund. To buy tickets, call the box office on 020 7121 1100 or see www.theplace.org.uk.
Picture: Bob Lockyer, adjusting the costume of Winifried Kirsch as Death in Kurt Jooss's The Green Table, filmed for BBC TV in 1967. Photograph: Anthony Crickmay