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New Year’s honours

Posted on January 6, 2014

carlos acosta jonathan ring

carlos acosta jonathan ringThe New Year’s honours list included a group of people recognised for their services to dance and to the arts, from choreographers to dance teachers, in styles from South Asian dance to ballet.

Gillian Lynne, who danced with the Sadler’s Wells Ballet before going on to choreograph the musical Cats and many other works, becomes a Dame. Sculptor Antony Gormley, whose work has included designs for the dance works zero degrees and Sutra, receives a knighthood. Carlos Acosta, principal guest artist with The Royal Ballet, receives a CBE for his services to ballet. Lady Marina Hobson receives an OBE for services to ballet and philanthropy.

Two artistic directors receive MBEs for their services to dance: Assis Carreiro, now leading the Royal Ballet of Flanders, and Liv Lorent, founder and artistic director of balletLORENT. Jane Pritchard, curator of Dance, Theatre and Performance collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum (and who has also contributed to Dancing Times) receives an MBE for services to the arts. MBEs also go to Christine McPhee, for services to Scottish Highland Dancing, and to Bisakha Sarker for services to South Asian dance in Merseyside.

There are three dance-related Medallists of the Order of the British Empire: Penny Brookman, a volunteer dance and drama teacher, Irene Cumming, president of the Ballymena Festival of Music, Speech and Dance and Margaret Jaffé, founder of Northern Dance Centre.


Picture: Carlos Acosta. Photograph: Jonathan Ring


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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