British choreographer, mime and David Bowie mentor Lindsay Kemp died Saturday morning in Livorno, Italy. He was 80.

Director Nendie Pinto-Duschinsky, who was making a documentary about Kemp, told BBC News that he was “a force of nature” and still working until his death.

He was born near Liverpool in 1938 and “realized that I wanted to dance when I first realized anything at all,” he said. Kemp studied dance with Hilde Holger and mime with Marcel Marceau after being introduced to the art world through studying with painter David Hockney.

Kemp formed his own dance company in the 1960s, and found fame in 1974 when he brought his show “Flowers,” based on Jean Genet’s “Notre Dame des Fleurs,” to the Edinburgh festival.

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