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A celebration of Jonathan Ollivier

Posted on November 9, 2015


The dancer Jonathan Ollivier, who died earlier this year, will be remembered in the performance Mr Wonderful – A Celebration of Jonathan Ollivier’s Life in Dance. Presented by New Adventures and Re:Bourne, this evening of dance will be performed at Sadler’s Wells on January 18, 2016.

Matthew Bourne, director of New Adventures and Re:Bourne, said: “Following the tragic events of the summer many colleagues and friends from across the dance industry expressed to us a desire to come together and celebrate Jonny’s life and also to provide some ongoing support to his young family. I’m thrilled that so many wonderful artists will come together in January to remember and celebrate Jonny’s career through a programme of exceptional dance.”

The evening will include extracts from Bourne’s Swan Lake and The Car Man, in which Ollivier performed leading roles, plus performances by dancers from Northern Ballet, where he danced for many years. The Rambert School, where he trained, will present Hidden, a duet created for the first BBC Young Dancer competition. The McOnie Company will perform in celebration of Ollivier’s time with the company, and Kevin and Karen Clifton, from Strictly Come Dancing, will dance in memory of their friend. There will also be the rarely-seen dance Mr Wonderful, choreographed by Matthew Bourne and last seen in 1992 as part of the Deadly Serious double bill at The Place. The evening will be introduced by Matthew Bourne, and will also include film clips and previously unseen footage, celebrating Ollivier’s talent and legacy.

All ticket income will be placed in charitable trust funds for Jonathan’s sons Lucas, who is six, and Isaac, who is 12 months. Tickets are available now from

Picture: Jonathan Ollivier. Photograph: Chris Mann

Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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