BBC
London
Choreographer Matthew Bourne has paid tribute to dancer Jonathan Ollivier who has died in a motorbike accident.
The 38-year-old died on Sunday hours before he was due to perform in the final show of Bourne’s production of The Car Man at Sadler’s Wells Theatre.
Bourne called the ballet dancer “one of the most charismatic and powerful dancers of his generation”. A driver arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving has now been bailed.
Ollivier worked on a number of roles with Bourne’s company New Adventures, including The Swan in Swan Lake and Speight in Play Without Words.
His family announced his death. 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 was riding in Clerkenwell in central London when the accident happened, police said.
He was involved in a collision with a black Mercedes shortly after 11:00 BST on Sunday. Paramedics and an air ambulance tried to save his life, but he was pronounced dead at the scene shortly before noon.
A driver arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving has now been bailed until February 2016. Sunday’s performance of The Car Man was cancelled.
Bourne said: “Yesterday’s events have ripped at the heart of the New Adventures family.
“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.”
He described the dancer as “an intensely masculine presence tempered with tenderness and vulnerability”.
“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 added.
“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.”