Accessibility links

|

Sign In
Basket
Basket
  • Home
  • News
  • Watch: Christopher Wheeldon on the challenges of adapting Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale

Watch: Christopher Wheeldon on the challenges of adapting Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale

The choreographer speaks about his new ballet, which features six Principal roles.

By Chris Shipman (Content Producer (Social Media and News))

18 February 2014 at 4.53pm | 4 Comments

Christopher Wheeldon's new ballet The Winter's Tale will see the choreographer create his first full-length work for The Royal Ballet since 2011's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

'I've always wanted to make a Shakespeare ballet,' says Christopher, 'I think that the biggest challenge for any choreographer tackling Shakespeare is to somehow find a way to infuse that poetry into the choreography and not just use the plot line.'

Christopher's new ballet follows a number of iconic balletic adaptations of the Bard's works, including Kenneth MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet and Frederick Ashton's The Dream - both staged at Covent Garden this Season.

The Winter's Tale has a reputation as a problem play but Christopher believes it will translate well to dance, not least because there are six principal roles, offering major parts for some of The Royal Ballet's star dancers.

'It's those moments of high drama that work so well for dance because you need very strong characters and plot lines that are clear and easy to follow to make a story ballet. What we've done is to stripped away some of the lesser characters and tried to streamline the plot a little bit, focusing on the ideas of unexplained jealousy and the tragedy that follows from that.'

To see more films like this, subscribe to the Royal Opera House YouTube channel:

 

The Winter’s Tale runs from 10 April-8 May 2014. Tickets are still available.
The ballet is staged with generous philanthropic support from The Monument Trust. Generous support is also offered by Mrs Susan A Olde OBE, the Metherell Family, Lady Ashcroft, Celia Blakey, Sarah and Lloyd Dorfman, Sir Simon and Lady Robertson, The Taylor Family Foundation, Mr and Mrs Edward Atkin CBE, Richard and Delia Baker, Kenneth and Susan Green, David Hancock, Randa Khoury, Lindsay and Sarah Tomlinson, Doug and Ceri King, Sir Roger and Lady Carr, The Winter’s Tale Production Syndicate and an anonymous donor.

 

By Chris Shipman (Content Producer (Social Media and News))

18 February 2014 at 4.53pm

This article has been categorised Ballet and tagged adaptation, by Christopher Wheeldon, Christopher Wheeldon, Production, The Winter's Tale, William Shakespeare

This article has 4 comments

  1. W J Owen responded on 18 February 2014 at 8:04pm Reply

    But when will we find out who else is dancing in the second cast?

    • Chris Shipman (Content Producer (Social Media and News)) responded on 19 February 2014 at 4:37pm

      Hi,

      Second cast details will be announced soon.

      Thanks,

      Chris
      ROH Content Producer

  2. W J Owen responded on 19 February 2014 at 5:16pm Reply

    Thanks Chris.

  3. Love the music. I'm really looking forward to seeing The Winter's Tale in April.

Comment on this article

Your email will not be published

Website URL is optional