Arise Sir David!

David Bintley Props Portrait Cropped

We are delighted to announce that former Director, David Bintley, has been awarded a Knighthood in Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II's New Year's Honours List for Services to Dance.

David Bintley succeeded Sir Peter Wright as Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet in 1995. By that time, Sir Peter had settled the Company (formerly Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet) into into its new home in the heart of England.

David's commitment to creating new work not only helped secure Birmingham as a hub of creative excellence but also affirmed Birmingham Royal Ballet's position as one of the world's leading ballet companies through productions such as the spectacular Carmina burana (1995), his four jazz ballets The Nutcracker Sweeties (1996), The Shakespeare Suite (1999), The Orpheus Suite (2004) and Take Five (2007), the jaw-dropping Edward II (Stuttgart, 1995; Birmingham, 1997), the magical Beauty and the Beast (2003), the Einstein-inspired E=mc2 (2009) and his more-human-than-fairytale Cinderella (2010).

David's vision also brought about some ground-breaking initiatives. One such was the 2006 Ballet Hoo: Ballet Changed my Life project which saw the Company reach a large group of young people from diverse backgrounds from across the West Midlands, in a two-year project televised by Channel 4. Another close to David's heart was Freefall Dance Company, the company of highly gifted dancers with severe learning disabilities that has been part of the Birmingham Royal Ballet family since 2002 and for whom David created his final work as Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet in summer 2019.

As the Company opens its annual season at London's Royal Albert Hall of The Nutcracker, which David himself adapted from Sir Peter Wright's landmark Birmingham production, CEO Caroline Miller said:

'We are proud to have worked with David in creating in Birmingham such a force for world dance. His vision, hard work and artistry have given us the strongest foundations upon which to build for future generations. Thank you, Sir David.'

Sir David said: 

'I am both delighted and humbled by this honour and proud to accept it on behalf of the British Ballet community. I would particularly like to thank my friends and colleagues at Birmingham Royal Ballet, the company it was my privilege to direct for 24 years. It is largely due to their talents and hard work that I find myself in this position and this honour is as representative of their services to dance, as it is mine.'

Photo: © Marta Kochanek