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Christopher Wheeldon

Choreographer

Biography

Christopher Wheeldon in action.
Christopher Wheeldon in rehearsal for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland © ROH/Johan Persson, 2011

English choreographer Christopher Wheeldon is Artistic Associate of The Royal Ballet. He trained at The Royal Ballet School and danced with the Company 1991–3. For The Royal Ballet he created the one-act ballets Tryst (2002), DGV: Danse à grande vitesse (2006), Electric Counterpoint (2008), ‘Trespass’ (Metamorphosis: Titian 2012, in collaboration with Alastair Marriott) and Aeternum (2013, winner of the Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production), and the full-length ballets Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in 2011 (The Royal Ballet's first full-length commission in 20 years) and The Winter's Tale in 2014.

Wheeldon was born in Yeovil and trained at The Royal Ballet School. In 1991 he won gold medal at the Prix de Lausanne with a solo of his own creation and that year entered The Royal Ballet, where Kenneth MacMillan encouraged him in his choreographic work. In 1993 Wheeldon joined New York City Ballet, promoted to soloist in 1998. He created his first work for NYCB, Slavonic Dances, in 1997 and became the company’s first Resident Choreographer in 2001. Works for NYCB include Polyphonia (2001, winner of a London Critics’ Circle Award and the Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production), An American in Paris (2005) and The Nightingale and the Rose (2007).

Wheeldon choreographs regularly for leading companies, including Boston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Dutch National Ballet and Pennsylvania Ballet. In 2007 he founded Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company and became the first British choreographer to create a new work for the Bolshoi Ballet. In 2012 he collaborated with Alastair Marriott on the closing ceremony of the London Olympic Games, watched by 23.2 million people worldwide.

Videos

News and features

5 things you need to know about Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

5 things you need to know about Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

27 November 2014

Our quick guide to Christopher Wheeldon's glorious family ballet, based on Lewis Carroll's classic tale.

Stories without words: Narrative ballets and their many inspirations

Stories without words: Narrative ballets and their many inspirations

20 November 2014

How and where choreographers find stories has changed throughout the art form's history.

Royal Ballet receives a number of nominations for National Dance Awards 2014

Royal Ballet receives a number of nominations for National Dance Awards 2014

4 November 2014

Nominations are decided by a panel of 50 dance writers from across the UK.

Britten and ballet: A surprisingly rich relationship

Britten and ballet: A surprisingly rich relationship

31 October 2014

Although he only created one full-length ballet, the composer had more to do with dance than you might think.

6 things you need to know about The Royal Ballet's mixed programme of Ceremony of Innocence / The Age of Anxiety / Aeternum

6 things you need to know about The Royal Ballet's mixed programme of Ceremony of Innocence / The Age of Anxiety / Aeternum

29 October 2014

Our quick guide to the world premiere from Liam Scarlett and two recent highly-acclaimed works from Kim Brandstrup and Christopher Wheeldon.

Christopher Wheeldon and Steven McRae honoured at award ceremony in Italy

Christopher Wheeldon and Steven McRae honoured at award ceremony in Italy

8 September 2014

Royal Ballet choreographer and dancer among those to receive awards at the Pos­it­ano Premia la Danza Léonide Massine.

Photos