Lindsay Kemp, David Bowie collaborator and mime artist, has died, aged 80

The dancer and choreographer worked with Bowie and Kate Bush

Lindsay Kemp, a British choreographer, dancer, and mime artist who worked with David Bowie and Kate Bush, has died.

The artist died in Italy last night (August 24), according to Nendi Pinto-Duschunsky, who is working on a documentary titled Lindsay Kemp’s Last Dance. He was 80 years old. 

Writing on the film’s Facebook page, Pinto-Duschunsky wrote: “I’m so sorry to tell you Lindsay passed away last night […] It was very sudden and he had the perfect day rehearsing with his students, about to work more on his memoirs, about to go on tour. He was very happy and it was very sudden.”

Kemp first met Bowie as a student in 1966 and would go on to cast the musician in Pierrot In Turquoise. The star later employed Kemp to help him create and perform the stage production for ‘Ziggy Stardust’ and featured dancers from his mime troupe in the video for ‘John, I’m Only Dancing’.

Kemp also mentored Bush for years, who said he taught her to dance and went on to ask him to appear in her short musical, The Line, The Cross And The Curve. He also appeared in the films The Wicker Man and Velvet Goldmine.

Stars of the entertainment world have begun to pay tribute to Kemp. The 1975‘s Matty Healy wrote on Twitter: “Rest In Peace Lindsay Kemp you were so incredibly important to me and to the world and you will be missed dearly”.

Boy George called Kemp a “genius”, writing: “I met him when I was 17 and he was like a beautiful gay wizard buddha. R.I.P. dancing queen.”

Photographer Mick Rock said he “touched all who came in to contact with his unique and revolutionary creative personality.” “He influenced all of us,” he added. “May god bless him. There will not be another like him.” 

Read those and more tributes below.