David Bintley CBE was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Philosophy from the Faculty of Arts on Wednesday, 10 September.
He completed his training at the Royal Ballet School before joining Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet. He was a renowned character dancer, particularly noted for the title role in Petrushka, and Alain and Widow Simone in La Fille mal Gardée. Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet’s Director, Sir Peter Wright, encouraged David’s desire to choreograph and his first professional piece, The Outsider, was created soon after.
From 1986 to 1993 David moved from resident choreographer for Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet to the same post at Covent Garden before working freelance, creating ballets around the world. In 1995 he was appointed director of Birmingham Royal Ballet and from 2010 took on the additional role of Artistic Director of the National Ballet of Japan.
David said: “I am honoured that the University of Wolverhampton has presented me with this award. It came as a very pleasant surprise to learn that I was to be awarded an honorary degree.
“The University of Wolverhampton is one of the world’s leading dance science and medicine research establishments. They have strong working and research relationships with Birmingham Royal Ballet, and this is something that I fully endorse and support. The Performance Hub is a wonderful asset for the University and for the dance students. The Dance courses and the Faculty as a whole are exceptional, which is something that is becoming increasingly rare. It is wonderful to have been recognised in this way and to support everything that the University of Wolverhampton continues to do.”
David’s varied canon of work includes Flowers of the Forest (1985), Still Life at the Penguin Café (1988), Tombeaux (1993), and the varied jazz-based pieces, including The Shakespeare Suite and The Orpheus Suite. His full-length ballets include re-workings of Hobson’s Choice (1989) and Cyrano (2007), Edward II (1995) and his Arthur cycle (2000-2001).
He was appointed a CBE in 2001. His ballet E=mc2 won the last ever South Bank Show Dance Award in 2010, and his new version of Cinderella was screened on BBC2 and BBC4 as the 2010 Christmas ballet.
His most recent creations include the Olympics-inspired Faster (2012), and Aladdin and The Prince of the Pagodas, both created for the National Ballet of Japan.
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Date Issued: Friday, 12 September 2014