Fund set up in memory of Northampton ballet dancer who died in motorbike accident

Jonathan Ollivier as The Swan in Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake. Photo by Bill Cooper ENGPNL00120140117160807

Jonathan Ollivier as The Swan in Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake. Photo by Bill Cooper ENGPNL00120140117160807

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A fund to help those with “poor access to the arts” in Northampton is being set up in memory of a ballet dancer killed in a motorbike accident earlier this month.

Northampton man Jonathan Ollivier died in London hours before he was due to give his final performance in Matthew Bourne’s the Car Man on August 9.

Now Re:Bourne, which is the charitable arm of Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures company, has set up a fund which it says will help dancers like Jonathan to realise their dreams in Northampton.

So far close to £5,000 has been raised with half the money set to go to London’s Air Ambulance, which fought to save 38-year-old Mr Ollivier after his accident.

A statement on the charity’s Virgin Giving page set up in memory of Jonathan reads:

“The tragic death of Jonathan has reached thousands of people around the world.

“In Jonathan´s memory the Ollivier family have asked for donations to be made to two charities.

“All donations will be split equally between the two organisations.”

Jonathan trained at the Rambert School of Dance and played two seasons of Swan and Stranger in Swan Lake, Luca in The Car Man and Speight in Play Without Words.

He was also awarded an honorary fellowship to the Dance Critics Circle and nominated by them as Best Young Dancer in 2003 and Best Male Dancer in 2004.

Details of the fund in Northampton are limited so far.

However director James Mackenzie-Blackman told the BBC he had met with the Ollivier family who were “really thrilled” the company wanted to set up a project in Jonathan’s hometown.

He added that the fund intended to leave a “positive legacy” in the town and would be used to “go into communities where there is either poor uptake of arts or difficulty accessing them.”

Acclaimed choreographer Mr Bourne had described Mr Ollivier as “one of the most charismatic and powerful dancers of his generation: An intensely masculine presence tempered with tenderness and vulnerability.”