Acclaimed dancer Jonathan Ollivier was tragically killed yesterday following a collision on his motorcycle in London. He had been due to perform in the final night of Matthew Bourne’s The Car Man’s run at Sadler’s Wells that evening.
Sadler’s Wells and New Adventures, Bourne’s dance company with whom Ollivier performed regularly over his career on stage, cancelled last night’s performance of the show.
Following confirmation from the Metropolitan Police that the 38-year-old had died following an accident on Farringdon Road, Bourne released a statement today speaking on behalf of the New Adventures company, saying:
“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…
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”
The Northampton-born dancer, who had starred in many of New Adventures’ most loved productions including Swan Lake and Play Without Words, trained at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance and his successful career saw him dance with renowned companies all over the world including the Cape Town City Ballet and Northern Ballet Theatre.
The tragic news was met by an outpouring of tributes to Ollivier, with members of the dance and theatre community taking to Twitter to send their messages of support to his family.
Thank you for being the most amazing partner Jonny. You’ve inspired so many people to do what they love. You will be missed everyday ????
— Zizi Strallen (@ZiziStrallen) August 9, 2015
Horrible news of Jonathan Ollivier’s death. Such a talent, and such a loss for his families – stage and off-stage.
— Judith Mackrell (@judithmackrell) August 9, 2015
According to reports, the driver who collided with Ollivier was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and was taken into custody.