At a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace, The Queen Consort presented the Royal Academy of Dance's highest honour
Her Majesty The Queen Consort presented The Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award to legendary dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov in recognition of his immense contribution to ballet and the wider world of dance.
The Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award, the RAD’s highest accolade, was instituted in 1953, to celebrate the year of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. 1953 also marked the year Queen Elizabeth II became Patron of the RAD, succeeding her grandmother Queen Mary.
Dame Adeline Genée, founding President of the RAD, instituted the award to be presented annually in recognition of outstanding services to the art of dance. The first recipient in 1954 was Dame Ninette de Valois. Since then, it has been awarded to many of the greatest names in dance, in recognition of outstanding services to the art form. Former recipients include Dame Marie Rambert, Sir Frederick Ashton, Dame Monica Mason, Rudolf Nureyev, Carlos Acosta CBE and Sir Matthew Bourne. It was most recently awarded to David McAllister AM in 2021.
During the special award ceremony, The Queen Consort met the Chief Executive of the RAD, Tim Arthur, President of the RAD, Dame Darcey Bussell, renowned dancer and former recipient of the award, Carlos Acosta.
About the Royal Academy of Dance
Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) is one of the most influential dance education and training organisations in the world with a strong global membership in 85 countries. Established in 1920 to improve standards and re-invigorate dance training, the RAD helps and encourages its teachers to perfect their teaching skills and pass on this knowledge to their students.
There are currently over 1,000 students in full-time or parttime teacher training programmes with the RAD and each year the examination syllabus is taught to thousands of young people worldwide, with around a quarter of a million pupils per year going on to take RAD exams. The RAD believes passionately in the power of dance to transform lives for the better. Through an international network of dance teachers, the RAD supports and connects a global community of more than 400,000 students, and dancers of all ages and abilities, in more than 80 countries.
Born 1948 in Riga, Latvia, Mikhail Baryshnikov is considered one of the greatest dancers of our time.
After commencing a spectacular career with the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad, he came to the West in 1974, settling in New York City as principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre (ABT). In 1978 he joined New York City Ballet, where he worked with George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. A year later he was appointed artistic director of ABT where, for the next decade, he introduced a new generation of dancers and choreographers.
From 1990-2002, Mr. Baryshnikov was director and dancer of the White Oak Dance Project, which he and choreographer Mark Morris co-founded to expand the repertoire and visibility of American modern dance. As an actor he has performed widely on- and off-Broadway, as well as in television and film, receiving a Tony Award nomination and a Drama Desk Award nomination for Metamorphosis, and an Academy Award nomination for The Turning Point.
Other theatrical productions include Forbidden Christmas or The Doctor and the Patient, Beckett Shorts, In Paris, Man in a Case, The Old Woman, Letter to a Man, and Brodsky/Baryshnikov. Recent projects include NOT ONCE., a cinematic installation developed in collaboration with Jan Fabre and Phil Griffin, and a second theatrical production directed by Latvian director Alvis Hermanis entitled The White Helicopter. He is currently working with director Igor Golyak and the Arlekin Players Theatre on a new adaptation of Chekhov's masterpiece The Cherry Orchard, which premiered offbroadway in June 2022.
In 2005, he launched Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC) in New York City, a creative space designed to support multidisciplinary artists from around the globe. Among Mr. Baryshnikov’s many awards are the Kennedy Center Honors, the National Medal of Arts, the Commonwealth Award, the Chubb Fellowship, the Jerome Robbins Award, and the Vilcek Award. In 2010, he was given the rank of Officer of the French Legion of Honor, and in 2017 he received Japan’s prestigious Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award in Theatre/Film.