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Memorial to dancer killed in motorbike crash

Published 09/11/2015

Dancer Jonathan Ollivier died in a motorbike accident
Dancer Jonathan Ollivier died in a motorbike accident

A dancer who was killed hours before a show will be celebrated in a memorial dance evening .

Jonathan Ollivier, who was 38, died in a motorbike accident in August, hours before he was due to perform in the final show of Matthew Bourne's The Car Man at Sadler's Wells Theatre.

Ollivier played the lead Luca in The Car Man, a production loosely based on Georges Bizet's opera Carmen and set in 1960s America.

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

The memorial event will take place on January 18 at Sadler's Wells Theatre.

Mr Bourne, a decorated choreographer who called Ollivier "one of the most charismatic and powerful dancers of his generation," will present the show.

It will include extracts from Swan Lake, The Car Man and Sleeping Beauty, featuring current and former principal dancers from the New Adventures company, as well as the rarely-seen Mr Wonderful, last put on in 1992 as part of the Deadly Serious double bill at The Place.

There will be performances from Northern Ballet, where Ollivier danced for many years. The Rambert School, where Ollivier trained, will present Hidden, a duet created for the inaugural BBC Young Dancer competition.

The McOnie Company will perform in celebration of Jonathan's time with the company and Kevin and Karen Clifton, from BBC1's Strictly Come Dancing, will also perform in memory of their friend.

The event will be introduced by Mr Bourne and interspersed with film clips and previously unseen footage of Ollivier.

Additional contributors to the evening will be announced over the coming week.

All income from ticket sales will be placed in charitable trust funds for his two sons, Lucas, six, and Isaac, 12 months.

Tickets, priced at £100, include a free programme and access to a post-show reception with dancers and the creative team. They can be booked on 020 7863 8000.

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