Saturday, 2 January 2016

More Gongs

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In Arise Sir Matthew 31 Dec 2015 I congratulated Sir Matthew Bourne and the others who had been honoured in the New Years Honours List for services to dance. In the last paragraph I wrote:
"If I have forgotten to mention anyone else who has been honoured for his or her contributions to dance I apologize profusely and offer my congratulations."
There were in fact two very important omissions: Tamara Rojo, artistic director of the English National Ballet who gets a CBE and the choreographer, Christopher Wheeldon, who gets an OBE, The reason I missed them first time round is that their names appear on a separate Diplomatic Service and Overseas List.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office press release explains that the 72 awards are in "recognition of truly exceptional and outstanding service to Britain overseas."  It describes Tamara Rojo as:
"one of the most outstanding dancers of her generation. After more than a decade of being one of the Royal Ballet’s most spectacular artists, she was appointed as Artistic Director and Principal Dancer of the English National Ballet in 2012. Under her leadership the company has flourished and continues to honour its commitment to touring the UK and overseas. Her belief in the importance of making the arts in general and dance, in particular, accessible to people from all walks of society has led her to contribute to the Arts Council East, Dance UK and the ICA."
It quotes Rojo's reaction:
“I am so honoured and humbled to receive this award. I owe so much to the UK already, it has given me so many opportunities and great fulfilment and happiness in my life, and this honour is a wonderful encouragement to continue to work for the Arts.”
 Wheeldon is described as an "international choreographer of contemporary ballet" and he us recognized "for services to promoting the interests and reputation of British classical and theatrical dance worldwide."

I congratulate Rojo and Wheeldon on their honours and wish them well.

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