Author Topic: Dancer Jonathan Ollivier dies in crash  (Read 340 times)

Description: Ballet dancer Jonathan Ollivier has been killed in a motorbike accident, his family said

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Dancer Jonathan Ollivier dies in crash
« on: August 10, 2015, 07:08:21 PM »



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Dancer Jonathan Ollivier dies in crash

Dancer Jonathan Ollivier dies in motorbike crash




Jonathan Ollivier

Ballet dancer Jonathan Ollivier has been killed in a motorbike accident, his family said.

The 38-year-old, from Northampton, died hours before he was due to perform in the final show of The Car Man at Sadler's Wells Theatre in London.

He was riding in central London when the accident happened, police said.

His sister Rachel Ollivier wrote on Facebook that "it is with a heavy heart that we have to tell you that Jon tragically died today".

She described him as her "beautiful little bro" and said "we love him and will miss him massively xx".

Ollivier played the lead role of Luca in choreographer Matthew Bourne's show at Sadler's Wells. His next of kin have been informed, and Sunday's performance was cancelled.

The Car Man is a production set in 1960s America and loosely based on Georges Bizet's opera Carmen.

His lead performance had been praised by critics, with The Telegraph's Rachel Ward writing that he brought "brooding power and danger of a matador" to the role.


He had previously won plaudits for playing The Swan in Bourne's all-male Swan Lake.

Ollivier spent eight years at The National Ballet Theatre (now called Northern Ballet).

David Nixon, the artistic director of Northern Ballet, paid tribute to Ollivier and spoke of the shock of learning of his "tragic death".

"Jon's untimely death is a loss to the world of dance and unbelievably tragic for his family. Jon's legacy will live on through the memories of his performances and through the roles which he created. He will be very much missed. Our thoughts are very much with his family."

Nixon said when he arrived at the company he was "inspired by the engaging charisma, strength and natural acting instincts of Jon".

"He soon became an integral part of my work and was involved in most of my creations. Most memorable will always be his incredibly powerful and unforgettable Heathcliff opposite Charlotte Talbot's Cathy. It was an inspired and privileged moment for me as a choreographer," he said.

  • Jonathan Ollivier was a ballet dancer for more than 18 years.

  • He grew up in Northampton and at 16 he studied at The Rambert Dance School.

  • He started his professional career in South Africa at Cape Town City Ballet.

  • In 1999, Ollivier joined The National Ballet Theatre (now called Northern Ballet), spending eight years there playing Heathcliff in David Nixon's Wuthering Heights and Death in Birgit Scherzer's Requiem.

  • He played Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire and Hyde in Jekyll and Hyde.

  • Ollivier spent two years in Canada as Principal dancer at the Alberta Ballet Company.

  • He worked with Matthew Bourne on his Play Without Words and danced the role of the lead Swan/Stranger in Swan Lake.

  • Ollivier was nominated for a number of awards including Outstanding Young Male Artist in the National Dance Awards in 2002, Outstanding Young Male Artist in the National Dance Awards, 2002 and Best Male Dancer in National Dance Awards, 2003-2004.

  • He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Northampton in 2006.

  • Olivier garnered four and five star reviews and was described as "a strong partner, fine actor and a dancer of extraordinary physical and emotional intensity".

  • He was married to South African principal ballerina Desire Samaai and had two sons.

Ollivier recently told the BBC how he got into dance. 

"I've got three sisters that used to go dancing and, one day, one of the teachers asked my mum if she wanted to leave me to do a class so that she could go off and do some shopping.

"I ended up staying and that was it really. It wasn't anything that I'd seen on TV and thought, 'that's what I want to do', it was actually doing a class that got me hooked. I loved it from the first one I did. I just knew that's what I wanted to do.

"I think a lot of guys' stories are like Billy Elliot's and that's why the film did so well."

"Most of us come from places where people wouldn't normally go off and do dance. We come from council estates and wanted to do ballet.

"There's nothing wrong with that but you still have to deal with the consequences of the fact that's not normal for a lot of people" .

The dancer was riding his motorbike in Clerkenwell when it was involved in a collision with a black Mercedes saloon car shortly after 11:00 BST on Sunday.

Police, paramedics and an air ambulance attended but he was pronounced dead at the scene shortly before noon.

The driver has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and is currently in custody at a London police station.


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