HUDDERSFIELD dance supremo David Bintley is safe in quake-stricken Japan.
The top choreographer, who was brought up in Honley, was working in Tokyo yesterday when the massive earthquake and tsunami struck.
But he and other members of a ballet company were able to get to safety from the centre of the city.
Bintley, who was awarded a CBE for his services to dance, is the artistic director of Japan’s National Ballet.
He shares that role with his UK work as artistic director of Birmingham Royal Ballet.
Bintley, who was born in Netherton, flew out to Japan on March 6 and was to spend almost three weeks in the Far East.
Claire Lishman, a spokesman for the Birmingham company, said: “We have been in email contact with the company in Japan and everyone is safe. It is impossible to get through on the phones at the moment.
“David and the others were working in the New National Theatre in the centre of Tokyo when the quake struck.
“The building was evacuated safely, as were many other buildings in the city, and David was able to get back to the apartment he uses when he is working in Japan.
“We hope to speak to him over the weekend.”
Bintley started his dance career as a pupil at the Audrey Spencer Dancing School in Huddersfield and won first place in the all-England dancing competition, aged just 14 in 1972.
He was a pupil of Holme Valley Grammar School when, aged 16 and living at Grasscroft Avenue, he was invited to join the Royal Ballet School.
He went on to be awarded a prestigious Olivier Award at the age of 21 and aged 28 he became the Royal Ballet’s youngest ever resident choreographer. In 2001, he was awarded a CBE for his service to the arts.