News: Honours for dance

Thursday 2 January 2014 by Carmel Smith

Dame Gillian Lynne

Carlos Acosta and Gillian Lynne are two of the high profile figures in the dance world to be included in the New Years Honour List 2014, announced earlier this week.

International ballet superstar, choreographer, producer/director Carlos Acosta received a CBE for services to ballet. He told ITV he was thrilled: “I never expected to receive an honour such as this, and am both delighted and very proud to be given such recognition for my work in the dance world. It was a huge surprise, and I feel privileged to be included.” A guest artist with the Royal Ballet, Carlos dances with companies around the world as well as producing and choreographing his own shows. This year he also published his first novel, Pig’s Foot , based on the story of four generations of a family in his native Cuba.

Gillian Lynne (CBE), probably best known for creating the iconic staging of Cats and The Phantom of the Opera, receives the further accolade of being made a Dame for services to dance and musical theatre. She told Dance UK: “The rest of the world is struggling but miraculously UK Dance is thriving. Possibly because of our extreme love for it and the energy and heart it takes to make it thrive. Also, we are lucky to possess a system which develops wonderful teachers. I know that I personally benefitted from such like. My honour is indeed for Dance but it is also for Musical Theatre the underdog in the arts which I have fought for over many years. I am proud to be part of a community in which there is no compromise”

Assis Carreiro, former Director of DanceEast in Ipswich and now Artistic Director of Royal Ballet of Flanders has been awarded an MBE for services to dance. The founder of Rural Retreats, a series of think tanks supporting leaders in the dance profession from around the world says: “I am thrilled and delighted by this wonderful honour and it comes within days of the 20th anniversary of my arrival in the UK in Birmingham. To be acknowledged is humbling. This is a very special day and a brilliant end to the year and start to 2014.”

Jane Pritchard, Curator of Dance, Theatre and Performance Collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum gets an MBE for services to the arts. Jane curated the Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes exhibition and has been archivist for English National Ballet & Rambert.

Liv Lorent, artistic director and founder of Newcastle based Ballet Lorent is awarded an MBE for services to dance. She told Dance UK: “I am very thankful that the dedication and innovation my dancers, collaborators and Executive Producer Christine Grimwood and I have put into balletLORENT these last twenty years has been acknowledged. On behalf of all the team – this family – I am accepting this honour and feel very grateful to be living in a time and a place where there has been public subsidy for the Arts. Without this support the work we make would not be seen and the brilliant artists I work with would not be able to collaborate together. We hope to always make dance that is a rewarding experience and continue touring to new and existing audiences. It has been an unexpected but delightful honour to be recognised for working hard at what we love best.”

Penny Brookman, from Hungerford, was awarded an OBE for services to education for her work as a volunteer dance and drama teacher. She is also involved in the Garston Gallopers Morris dancing troupe and told her local newspaper “My passion has always been teaching traditional dance to people who would not have otherwise gone to dance lessons. It’s about sharing my passion and love of dance and tradition but it’s nice to be recognised.

Lady Patricia Marina Hobson (MBE) is awarded an OBE for services to ballet & philanthropy; Bisakha Sarker gets an MBE for services to South Asian dance in Liverpool; Christine Anderson MacPhee is awarded an MBE for services to Scottish Highland Dancing and Margaret Jaffe founder of Northern Dance Centre gets the British Empire Medal for services to dance in North Yorkshire.

Full list of 2014 Honours

Dance UK runs the Dance sector’s Honours Advisory Committee – a group of dance professionals who volunteer their time and expertise to ensure dance professionals are regularly nominated from across the rich and diverse dance sector – from teachers to dancers, from managers to choreographers, working in all dance forms. If you want to nominate someone for services to dance and would like the support of Dance UK, or if you would like to join the advisory committee call 020 7713 0730 or email

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