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Darcey Bussell and Natalie Davis honoured
21 Jul 09
The ballerina Darcey Bussell and the historian Professor Natalie Zemon Davis were given honorary degrees on Saturday (18 July 2009).
Both Darcey Bussell and Professor Zemon Davies received an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters at a degree ceremony at the Sheldonian Theatre.
Darcey Bussell, CBE, became the then youngest ever Principal at the Royal Ballet in 1989 and received awards and accolades for her dancing before her retirement from ballet in June 2007.
During the ceremony the University’s Public Orator noted that Darcey Bussell ‘adds to technical mastery charm and imagination, in such a way that she seems to reveal the grace of her personality as well as the grace of movement… Moreover, she wants those who are perhaps put off by the grand portals of the Royal Opera House to enjoy the pleasures that ballet affords’.
Darcey Bussell has featured in many TV shows and documentaries and it has recently been announced that she is due to appear as a guest judge on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing later this year.
Professor Natalie Zemon Davis, FBA, FRHS, FAAA, is a Canadian and American historian of early modern Europe. She has pioneered the use of insights from anthropology to understand the values and structures of earlier societies. Her Return of Martin Guerre, became a major film in 1982 and she is considered one of the top historians in the world.
The Public Orator declared that Professor Davis ‘tells the story better than a good many professional novelists…. she does not take kings and princes as her subject but draws the lives of common people out of their obscurity and into the light of day.’
Professor Natalie Zemon Davis