Matthew Bourne has won a Critics’ Circle award for distinguished services to the arts.
The choreographer  was nominated jointly by the drama and dance sections of the organisation, with other nominees including Imelda Staunton, who was nominated for film, along with Simon Rattle for music, John le Carre for literature, and Julia Peyton-Jones for visual arts.
The award was presented in London on April 28 by Graham Watts, chairman of the dance section of Critics’ Circle and the National Dance Awards.
Previous winners of the award for distinguished services to the arts include Maggie Smith, Grayson Perry and Stephen Sondheim.
Bourne is only the forth dance-related recipient of the award since it began in 1988.
Presenting the award, Watts said: “Sir Matthew Bourne has kept audiences all over the world consistently entertained with work that is rich in imagery and spectacle and in which there is never, ever, a dull moment.
“He is a choreographer, a director, a leader, a storyteller, a magician, and, like his early inspiration, Fred Astaire, he is the consummate entertainer.”
He added: “This year I’m personally excited that the dance section has shared the responsibility of nominating Matthew with our friends in the drama section, and it seems most appropriate that dance and theatre should come together in this way.”
Bourne was knighted in the 2016 New Years honours list .