Jonathan Ollivier - a tribute by Matthew Bourne


Dancer Jonathan Olliver, who had been appearing in The Car Man at Sadler's Wells in The Car Man from 14 July 2015, died yesterday following a tragic motorcycle accident in central London, aged 38.

Choreographer Matthew Bourne today issued a tribute on behalf of New Adventures, the producers behind The Car Man:

"Yesterday we lost our "Swan" and our "Car Man" - Jonathan Ollivier was one of the most charismatic and powerful dancers of his generation: An intensely masculine presence tempered with tenderness and vulnerability made him the perfect casting for a string of triumphant roles in the New Adventures repertory including "The Swan", the enigmatic "Speight" in "Play Without Words" and his final role as Luca in "The Car Man" which he was due to dance at last nights final performance at Sadler's Wells.

A man of great warmth and charm, Jonny was a true gent, loved and respected by his colleagues and adored by audiences who were mesmerised by his memorable performances on stage as well as his friendly and genuine personality at the Stage Door. He was also an inspiration and role model to several generations of young dancers who strived to emulate his enviable technique and majestic stage presence.

Yesterdays events have ripped at the heart of the New Adventures family and we join together to send our heartfelt condolences to all of Jonny's family and friends. In our grieving for this irreplaceable artist we take some comfort in the legacy of memories that he has left behind."

Ollivier, who was awarded an honorary fellowship to the Dance Critics Circle and nominated by them as Best Young Dancer (2003) and Best Male Dancer (2004), went on to become a Principal Dancer for New Adventures and performed in 'Swan Lake', 'The Car Man' and 'Play Without Words'.

Yesterday's performance of 'The Car Man' was cancelled. It was to be the show's final performance of the current run at the Sadler's Wells.


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