Darcey Bussell to star in London Olympics’ closing ceremony
Britainâs most famous ballerina, Darcey Bussell, is to return to the stage to bring the London Olympics to a close.
Bussell, 43, will dance at the end of the Olympics closing ceremony, with four male dancers, in a showcase choreographed for her by the Royal Balletâs artistic associate, Christopher Wheeldon.
Last Friday, she flew from Sydney, her home for the last five years, to London, where she will prepare for her Olympicsâ appearance, her first on pointe in five years, and become a judge for the BBC program, Strictly Come Dancing, for both this yearâs season of the popular TV show and next yearâs as well.
Travelling with her to London were her husband, funds manager, Angus Forbes, and their two young daughters.
The family will live in south west London for at least the next two years while Forbes establishes a new business, Commons Floor, described as âa project aiming to get the financial services industry involved in the protection of the ecological and societal commons, ie, a healthy planet and eradication of slumsâ.
In early 2009, in Sydney, he co-founded, with Marcus Burns, Natural Capital Funds Management. It managed an equities fund that is no longer active.
Bussell has resigned as a director of the Sydney Dance Company board but stepped into a new role as its patron.
When Bussell retired as prima ballerina of the Royal Ballet in 2007, she moved with her husband to Sydney, settling in Vaucluse where the couple had bought a property two years earlier.
In 2010 she told The Australian Financial Review: âI quite like the anonymity of Australia. I feel like I can find my own way rather than being watched, which I felt in London. I was feeling a lot of pressure, to be truthfulâ.
But once a dancer, always a dancer. In Sydney she continued to take classes in jazz and contemporary dance and then, after a major injury to her knee, and on the advice of a physiotherapist, returned to ballet classes at Sydney Dance Company and more recently, at a church hall in Sydneyâs east, where the teacher is Jodi Rose, wife of the late Murray Rose.
There is more than the Olympics waiting for Bussell in London. She is to be the âfaceâ of a new cosmetics range by Sanctuary Spa, owned by the international company PZ Cussons and is the new president of the teaching organisation, the Royal Academy of Dance.
A version of this article first appeared in The Australian Financial Review on June 27, 2012.