|Sir Matthew Bourne|
Creative Commons Licence
Many congratulations to Sir Matthew Bourne on his knighthood in the New Year's Honours List for services to dance. While I can't claim to be his most avid fan I have always recognized his genius and appreciated his massive contribution to the performing arts. I am delighted that he has been honoured in this way and send him my very best wishes. I am not a great admirer of the honours system - particularly not when it is used to advance party political as opposed to public service ends as it has been today - but Sir Matthew's knighthood is an example of how the system ought to work. He joins a very select group of knights and dames such as Peter Wright and Anthony Dowell who have made an extraordinary contribution to dance.
Also honoured this morning are Jill Tuckey, artistic director of the National Youth Ballet, who is appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her services to dance and young people, Maralyn Barton-Kronman, head of wardrobe at the Royal Opera House for services to the performing arts, Felicity Belfield for services to supporting musicians and dancers and Brenda Taylor, founder of the Brenda Taylor School of Dance and the Performing Arts. Congratulations to them too.
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.