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Lindsay Kemp is a British dancer, actor, teacher, mime artist and choreographer.
Kemp was born in South Shields. His father, a seaman, was lost at sea in 1940. According to Kemp, he danced from early childhood: "I'd dance on the kitchen table to entertain the neighbours. I mean, it was a novelty in South Shields to see a little boy in full make-up dancing on pointe. Finally it got a bit too much for my mother, and she decided to send me to boarding school at the age of eight, hoping that it would knock some sense into me."
Kemp's mother moved away from South Shields, and Kemp attended Bearwood College, near Wokingham, a school for the sons of merchant seaman. He and his mother later moved to Bradford, Yorkshire where Kemp attended Bradford Art College before studying dance with Hilde Holger and mime with Marcel Marceau.
Kemp formed his own dance company in the early sixties and first attracted attention with an appearance at the Edinburgh Festival in 1968. Kate Bush and David Bowie were students of Kemp.
His stage performances include Pierrot In Turquoise, Flowers, Salome, Mr Punch's Pantomime, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Duende, Nijinskij, Alice, Cenerentola, Sogno di Nijinscky or Nijinscky il matto Facade, The Big Parade, Alice, Onnagata, Cinderella, Varieté, Dream Dances, and, for Ballet Rambert, Parades Gone By and Cruel Garden. He staged and performed in David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust concerts at London's Rainbow Theatre in August 1972, and, with Jack Birkett, appears in the promotional video for Bowie's single "John, I'm Only Dancing". Kemp’s film roles include a supporting role in the Kate Bush short film The Line, the Cross & the Curve, a dancer and cabaret performer in Derek Jarman’s Sebastiane and Jubilee respectively, a pantomime dame in Todd Haynes' Velvet Goldmine and the pub landlord Alder MacGregor in Anthony Shaffer's The Wicker Man.