Jonathan Ollivier: Car Man dancer killed in motorbike collision hours before he was due to perform

Driver of black Mercedes arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving

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The Independent Online

A professional dancer was killed after his motorbike collided with a car just hours before he was due to perform the lead role in the final show of The Car Man at London’s Sadler's Wells Theatre.

Jonathan Ollivier, 38, was riding his motorbike in Clerkenwell when he was involved in a collision with a black Mercedes just after 11am on Sunday. The driver was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

The dancer’s sister Rachel Ollivier wrote on Facebook: “To all my beautiful little bro friends, it is with a heavy heart that we have to tell you that Jon tragically died today. We love him and will miss him massively xx.”

Ollivier, from Northampton, played the role of Luca in leading choreographer Matthew Bourne's show, a “dance thriller” loosely based on Georges Bizet's opera Carmen and set in 1960s America.

Sadler’s Wells Theatre said in an email sent to those planning to attend the performance: “On behalf of the company New Adventures, we regret to inform patrons that tonight's performance of The Car Man at Sadler's Wells has had to be cancelled due to a tragic accident earlier today.

“While due process is being followed we are unable to give further information however we offer our sincere condolences to those concerned. New Adventures and Sadler's Wells are sorry for the inconvenience caused to patrons due to attend tonight's performance.”

Critics had praised Ollivier’s performance with The Telegraph's Rachel Ward saying he brought a “brooding power and danger of a matador” to the role. He had previously won plaudits for playing as The Swan in Bourne's all-male Swan Lake.

After the crash, police, paramedics and an air ambulance tried to save his life, but he was pronounced dead at the scene shortly before noon.

The driver stopped and was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. He was taken into custody at a central London police station.

The Press Association contributed to this report.

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