GILLIAN LYNNE DBE
A seminal influence on British dance and musical theatre, Dame Gillian Lynne started her career in 1942 at age 16 before joining the Sadler's Wells Ballet Company in 1944 where she became a soloist performing at the newly opened Covent Garden Opera House as detailed in her autobiography A Dancer in Wartime. Her many roles with the soon-to-be renamed Royal Ballet included the Black Queen in Checkmate, the Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty and Queen of the Willis in Giselle.
Following her successful performing career as the star dancer at the London Palladium and on early British TV, as well as being Britain's foremost exponent of Jazz Dance, Lynne went on to be a leading director/choreographer of her generation. Notable ballet credits include A Simple Man, Lipizzaner and The Brontes for Northern Ballet, Journey for the Bolshoi Ballet, Some You Win for Irek Mukhamedov's Company and Fool on the Hill for the Australian Ballet,
Best-known for her ground-breaking work on Cats and The Phantom of the Opera, Lynne has directed over 60 productions in the West End and on Broadway, including the UK premiere of Jerry Herman's Dear World in 2013. She has worked on 11 feature films and 100's of television productions as producer, director, choreographer or performer.
At the end of 2014 Lynne returned to the London Palladium for the new production of Cats. The production marked, apart from her many dancing appearances, the 3rd major musical she has opened at this iconic venue.
Earlier this year Lynne released a landmark exercise DVD aimed at mature audiences entitled Longevity Through Exercise and in October 2014 she recreated Miracle in the Gorbals for the Birmingham Royal Ballet.
Lynne has received numerous accolades including two Olivier Awards - the first Award for Outstanding Achievement for her Choreography of Cats in 1981 - while in 2013 she was presented with a Lifetime Achievement 'Special' Olivier. Other awards include: Vienna's Silver Order of Merit, Golden Rose of Montreux Award for The Muppet Show, Samuel G. Engel Television Award (USA) for her conceptual drama The Morte d'Arthur, a BAFTA for her dance drama A Simple Man which she directed for BBC TV, a Moliere Award and The Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award from the Royal Academy of Dance who elected her Vice-President in 2012. Lynne was honoured with CBE in 1997 and made DBE in the 2014 New Years Honours List for her services to Dance and Musical Theatre, the first woman to be honoured in this way.
Click here for a chronological CV in PDF format
Information on Lean Two Productions
Click here for information on Lean Two Productions.
Gillian Lynne on Twitter
Click here for Gillian Lynne on Twitter.