Sir Matthew Bourne, a former pupil at Sir George Monoux Sixth Form College, has been awarded a knighthood in the Queen's New Year’s Honours for his services to dance.
The internationally acclaimed dance and theatre choreographer, studied at Sir George Monoux Grammar School in Walthamstow, from 1974 - 1978. He went on to become the recipient of over 40 global awards, recognising his contributions to the world of theatre, musicals, opera and film, as well as creating the world’s longest running ballet production. He is now the Artistic Director of his company, New Adventures, famously known for spectacular productions such as Swan Lake, Edward Scissorhands and Sleeping Beauty.
After thirty-six years, Matthew recently returned to Sir George Monoux Sixth Form College, for a special ceremony to mark the re-naming of the College’s theatre to ‘The Matthew Bourne Theatre’. Since then, professional dancers from Matthew's dance company, New Adventures, have regularly held dance workshops with the College’s Creative & Performing Arts students.
Julie Search-Whittaker, Head of Faculty at Sir George Monoux Sixth Form College said,“Wow - congratulations to Sir Matthew on his knighthood; a tremendous achievement and a fantastic inspiration to us all and the world of contemporary dance. Matthew’s dancers regularly run workshops with our students and we are thrilled that we are able to learn from the very best! A thoroughly well-deserved recognition of a truly original and inspirational choreographer, who never fails to thrill with performances, which push all the boundaries.”
In response to the news of his knighthood, Sir Matthew Bourne said, “This news has come as a great surprise to me, but I couldn’t be more thrilled and honoured to be recognised in this way. As Artistic Director of an independent contemporary dance company that started as a group of friends in the late eighties this comes as a very significant recognition of what that company has achieved in the last 28 years. I am particularly proud to be, I believe, the first dance Knight outside of the National Ballet companies and would like to thank all of my colleagues in New Adventures and Re:Bourne, my friends in the wider dance and theatre communities and the loyal audiences throughout the UK, without whom, I would not still be here.”