Queens Birthday Honours 2020 celebrate dance sector

10 Oct 2020


The Queens Birthday Honours list for 2020 has been announced, and amongst the names we are thrilled to see recognition for the dance sector. Read more about those who have been honoured below. (List runs alphabetically)

Dame Siobhan (Sue) Davies DBE

Siobhan Davies is Artistic Director of Siobhan Davies Dance and a renowned British choreographer who rose to prominence in the 1970s. Davies was a founding member of London Contemporary Dance Theatre and in 1982 joined forces with Richard Alston and Ian Spink to create independent dance company Second Stride, one of the most influential independent companies of the 1980s.

Founding Siobhan Davies Dance in 1988, Davies worked closely with collaborating artists to ensure that their own artistic enquiry is part of the creative process. By 2002 she moved away from the traditional theatre circuit and started making work for gallery spaces. Davies applies choreography across a wide range of creative disciplines including visual arts and film. Her choreographic works have been presented at some of the most prestigious art institutions in the UK and Europe.

In 2006, the RIBA award-winning Siobhan Davies Studios opened in London, designed by architect Sarah Wigglesworth. This marked a permanent change in Davies’ work, transforming a touring dance company into a contemporary arts organisation. Davies has always advocated for choreography and dance to work in and amongst other artistic disciplines and the London based studios are a space of dialogue, investigation and exploration – filled with dance, film and visual art through a regular programme of exhibitions, performances, classes and new commissions from contemporary artists.


Graham Dickie, MBE

An artistic director in music theatre, Graham was the Scottish Representative for Cameron Mackintosh, a panellist for The Scottish Arts Council and has been a consultant for The Donald Dewar Arts Trust.

Graham has been involved with the Scottish Dance School since 1983 and in 1998 founded and established the National Musical Theatre Course.

Graham is founder and director of the national Young Scottish Musical Theatre Performer of the Year Award.

Kathleen Forsyth, BEM

Kathleen has been awarded a British Empire Medal for her services to dance, pertaining to the Northamptonshire Festival of Dance.

Richard Gleave, CBE

Richard Gleave receives a CBE, following his previously appointed OBE. Richard is best known for being an icon of competitive ballroom dancing world, where he is an eight-time world champion.

Pushkala Gopal, MBE

Pushkala Gopal is an artistic director and teacher for Sanskriti. In 1983, Pushkala was awarded the British council Fellowship and spent a year at Trent Park studying western techniques of theatre, dance and education. She has pioneered several education projects nationally. Pushkala makes regular appearances in Masterclasses, lectures, and performances in India and other parts of the world. Since 1977, she has worked as a freelance performer, lecturer teacher, choreographer, writer, consultant, and composer.

Gail Parmel, MBE

Gail is the Founder and Artistic Director of ACE Dance and Music, along with her husband and musician, Ian Parmel.

Over her 20 year career as Artistic Director of ACE Dance and Music, Gail has created 10 successful touring productions with the company. Combining energetic contemporary movement with African Caribbean dance forms, ACE Dance and Music is one of the most exciting, eclectic and resilient dance companies in the UK.

Gail was identified as one of The Cultural Leadership Programme (CLP) Top 50 Women to Watch, an inspiring list of 50 influential women working within the arts and culture sector across the UK. She was also voted one of 20 most Inspirational Women from the African Diaspora in Europe.