Knighthood for ex-BRB boss Bintley

Published: 30 December 2019
Reporter: Steve Orme

Former Birmingham Royal Ballet director David Bintley has been awarded a knighthood for services to dance in the New Year Honours list.

Sir David said, “I’m 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’s largely due to their talents and hard work that I find myself in this position.”

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 its new home in the heart of England.

Sir David's commitment to creating new work not only helped secure Birmingham as a hub of creative excellence but also affirmed BRB's position as one of the world's leading ballet companies.

His vision brought about groundbreaking initiatives including in 2006 Ballet Hoo: Ballet Changed my Life which led to the company’s reaching more than 200 young people from diverse backgrounds from across the West Midlands in a two-year project televised by Channel 4.

Also close to David's heart was Freefall, a company of dancers with severe learning disabilities who have been part of Birmingham Royal Ballet since 2002 and for whom David created his final work as BRB’s director in summer 2019.

As well as holding the post of BRB artistic director for 24 years, Sir David was also artistic director of the National Ballet of Japan from 2010 to 2014.

BRB’s chief executive officer Caroline Miller said, “we’re 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.”