Dance For New Year Honours

Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) Medal

There were three dance-related citations in the December 2014 New Year Honours list, of a total of 1,164 honours. Jeanetta Laurence, Associate Director of the Royal Ballet has been awarded an OBE for services to dance, Marguerite Porter, Director of the Yorkshire Ballet Summer School has been awarded an MBE for services to ballet and Janet Smith, Principal of the Northern School of Contemporary Dance has also been awarded an MBE for services to dance.

Jeanetta Laurence works closely with the Director of the Royal Ballet Kevin O’Hare, and was formerly a dancer with the company. During her time there she has worked alongside former directors Anthony Dowell, Ross Stretton and Monica Mason. Laurence is also a Trustee of the Frederick Ashton Foundation, which exists to perpetuate the legacy of the Founder Choreographer of the Royal Ballet, and of the Royal Ballet Benevolent Fund and the Benesh Institute Endowment Fund. Laurence has worked for the Royal Ballet for over 46 years and will retire in June 2015.

Marguerite Porter, Director of the Yorkshire Ballet Summer School, is a British ballet inspiration. She joined the Royal Ballet aged 17 and has even partnered ballet legend Rudolf Nureyev during her career. Porter’s ballet life has been full of iconic and memorable moments, and it now finds her at the helm of the Yorkshire Ballet Summer School. She took over as Director in 2005 having danced with the Royal Ballet company for 20 years. Following this period she remained with company for three further years as a guest artist.

Janet Smith left her position as Artistic Director of Scottish Dance Theatre in 2012 to become the current principal of the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. Northern School of Contemporary Dance is a unique dance training institution offering a select group of students the opportunity to develop and excel as dance artists in a conservatoire environment.

Talent Throughout The Birthday Honours

Queen Elizabeth IIThe Queen’s birthday honours recently recognised a multitude of talent in the awardees: actors Daniel Day-Lewis and Maggie Smith were recognised in the honours list, which also sees Young Vic artistic director David Lan and English National Opera’s John Berry honoured. The arts faired well as Day-Lewis was made a knight, and Smith was made a Companion of Honour.

Among those awarded CBEs were the Young Vic’s Lan and Berry, artistic director of the ENO. Choreographer Michael Clark, soprano Susan Bullock and Pauline Tambling, joint chief executive of training body Creative and Cultural Skills, also received a CBE.

Others receiving recognition for their services to the arts include pianist Andras Schiff, who was made a knight, and Angelina Jolie, who was awarded an honorary damehood. Hilary Mantel, author of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, the stage versions of which have just extended their run in the Aldwych Theatre, was made a dame.

OBEs were presented to actors Damian Lewis and Phyllida Law, lighting designer Patrick Woodroffe and composer Talvin Singh. Other recipients included Mark Featherstone-Witty, the founding principal and chief executive of the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, ex-director of the UK Foundation for Dance, Namron Yarrum, talent agent Jonathan Shalit, and Nisha Tandon, executive director of Northern Ireland’s only full-time ethnic arts and culture company.

Theatre figures recognised with MBEs included John Barrowman for services to light entertainment and charity, choreographer Rosemary Butcher, playwright and founder of the Identity Theatre School Femi Oguns, producer Judith Dimant for her work with Complicite, and theatrical wig designer Angela Cobbin.

Also receiving MBEs were the former joint chief executives of the Askonas Holt agency, Martin Campbell-White and Robert Rattray, conductor and artistic director of the Leeds Symphony Orchestra, Martin Binks, and Maria Friend, director of the Trinity Laban Conservatoire’s junior department.

The New Year’s Honours List 2014

OBE Image: New Year's Honours 2014The New Year’s Honours List 2014, released on 30 December 2013, included nine honours for dance professionals, championing their work for the arts sector. Dance UK runs the dance sector’s Honours Advisory Committee which is a group of dance professionals who volunteer their time and expertise to ensure dance professionals are regularly nominated from across the rich and diverse world of dance. Teachers, dancers, managers and choreographers can all be nominated, recognised for their hard work in all dance forms.

Choreographer and former dancer Gillian Lynne CBE was made a Dame as part of the New Year’s Honours List for services to dance and musical theatre, acknowledging her dedication to the industry which spans decades. Dancer and choreographer Carlos Acosta, received a CBE for services to ballet, recognising his work in the dance world. Assis Carreiro, former Director of DanceEast in Ipswich, was awarded an MBE for services to dance. Assis is now Artistic Director of Royal Ballet of Flanders. In addition, Liv Lorent, founder and Artistic Director of balletLORENT based in Newcastle, received an MBE for services to dance.

Other honourees included Lady Patricia Marina Hobson MBE awarded an OBE for services to ballet & philanthropy, Margaret Jaffe founder of Northern Dance Centre awarded the British Empire Medal for services to dance, and Jane Pritchard, Curator of Dance, Theatre and Performance Collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum: Jane was awarded an MBE for services to the arts. Jane curated the Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes exhibition at the museum and was archivist for both English National Ballet and Rambert.

English National Ballet and the The Coronation Festival

ENB Rebranded LogoIt has been announced that English National Ballet will take part in three Gala performances in the grounds of Buckingham Palace as part of the Coronation Festival in July this year, performing Tempus, a specially commissioned piece paying tribute to Her Majesty The Queen to celebrate the 60th anniversary of her Coronation.

Tempus, choreographed by Associate Artist George Williamson to a new score by composer Christopher Mayo, will be danced by Artistic Director Tamara Rojo, alongside other Principals and Artists of the company such as Esteban Berlanga, Daria Klimentová, Vadim Muntagirov, Fernanda Oliveira, Zhanat Atymtayev, Bridgett Zehr, Ken Saruhashi, Ksenia Ovsyanick and Junor Souza. The work will be inspired by incredible era of change during her reign and a sense of transition and memories in order to celebrate the Queen’s years and simultaneously look to the future of the art form.

The Gala will form part of the Coronation Festival , which is to be a unique public event hosted by The Royal Warrant Holders Association and will encapsulate the Festival’s themes of excellence and innovation with a particular focus on youth, in a celebration of the past 60 years of performing arts. The Festival will be open to members of the public from Friday 12 to Sunday 14 July and the Galas will be broadcast on TV and radio, with a Royal Preview on Thursday, 11th July for invited guests.

The Coronation Festival is being hosted by The Royal Warrant Holders Association, and will showcase over 200 of the companies who have supplied goods or services for at least five years to the Households of The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh or The Prince of Wales.