Tributes paid to top dancer who died in collision

Jonathan Ollivier, 38, as the lead role of Luca in Matthew Bourne's The Car Man

Jonathan Ollivier, 38, as the lead role of Luca in Matthew Bourne's The Car Man - Credit: Archant

Jonathan Ollivier died just hours before his final performance at Sadler’s Wells

An acclaimed contemporary dancer was killed just hours before he was due to perform in a production’s final show at Sadlers Wells.

Jonathan Ollivier, 38, died after a black Porsche collided with his motorbike in Farringdon Road, in Clerkenwell on Sunday morning.

Mr Ollivier, who was originally from Northampton, was due to take to the stage for the final performance as the lead role in Matthew Bourne’s The Car Man, in Sadler’s Wells, in Rosebery Avenue, Finsbury.

Saturday night’s final show was cancelled following Mr Ollivier’s tragic death.

Matthew Bourne, artistic director of New Adventures – the company behind the production – paid a moving tribute to the talented dancer.

He said on Monday: “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 ‘Speigh’ 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.

Most Read

“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.”

Police confirmed that the driver who stopped at the scene was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and has been bailed pending further enquiries.