Entertainment & Arts

Sylvie Guillem to be given honorary Olivier award

Sylvie Guillem in 6,000 Miles at Sadler's Wells
Image caption Guillem's contemporary works have included 6,000 Miles

Dancer Sylvie Guillem is to be honoured for her extraordinary career at the Olivier Awards next month.

The classical and contemporary dancer will be presented with a special award at the London ceremony on 12 April.

In her 33 year career, Guillem has danced all the leading roles of the classical repertoire with companies including The Royal Ballet and Kirov.

Last year, Guillem announced she planned to step down from the stage at the age of 50.

Her final dance programme, Life In Progress - featuring existing and new works by choreographers that have inspired her career - is touring internationally in 2015 and will finish in Tokyo.

Training at the Paris Opera Ballet School from the age of 11, Guillem joined the company's corps de ballet in 1981 and was promoted to the rank of Etoile by Rudolf Nureyev at the age of 19 while dancing Swan Lake.

She went on to become a principal guest artist with the Royal Ballet.

Always seen as a free spirit in the ballet world, Guillem has preferred to work independently from a company, and went on to dance with Tokyo Ballet, Australian Ballet, American Ballet Theatre and La Scala, amongst others.

In 2004, she began working at Sadler's Wells in London, collaborating with the venue's associate artists Russell Maliphant, Michael Nunn and the William Trevitt on Broken Fall, for which she won Olivier Award for Best Dance Production.

Since becoming a Sadler's Wells associate artist herself, her acclaimed works have included PUSH, Sacred Monsters and 6000 miles away.

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