Dancer Jonathan Ollivier Dies Following Motorbike Accident on Day of His Final Performance of The Car Man

News   Dancer Jonathan Ollivier Dies Following Motorbike Accident on Day of His Final Performance of The Car Man
Jonathan Ollivier, a 38-year old principal dancer with Matthew Bourne's New Adventures company, has died after the motorbike he was driving was hit by a car in central London Aug. 9. Ollivier was a star in the company's production of The Car Man at Sadler's Wells Theatre and due to appear in the show's final performance of its run on the evening of Aug. 9, which was cancelled following the tragedy.

According to news reports, the driver of the black Mercedes saloon that struck his motorbike was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and has been bailed to a date in February next year. In a press statement, Bourne, artistic director of the company, said on behalf of the company, "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 night's final performance at Sadler's Wells."

Bourne added, "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. Yesterday's 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 trained at the Rambert School of Dance and has been a principal dancer at Cape Town Ballet, Northern Ballet Theatre and the Alberta Ballet. In addition to working with Michael Clarke, he also starred in the first U.K tour of Dirty Dancing.

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