Christopher Wheeldon is Artistic Associate of The Royal Ballet and one of the most innovative and sought-after choreographers in ballet today. Born in Yeovil, he trained at The Royal Ballet School and joined The Royal Ballet in 1991, where Kenneth MacMillan encouraged him in his choreographic work. Wheeldon won the Gold Medal at the Prix de Lausanne the same year with a solo he had created.
In 1993, Wheeldon became a member of New York City Ballet and was 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 an Olivier Award), An American in Paris (2005) and The Nightingale and the Rose (2007).
For The Royal Ballet Wheeldon has created the one-act ballets Tryst (2002), DGV: Danse à grande vitesse (2006), Electric Counterpoint (2008), ‘Trespass’ (as part of Metamorphosis: Titian 2012) and Aeternum (2013 – winner of an Olivier Award), 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. He choreographs regularly for other leading companies, including Boston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Dutch National Ballet and Pennsylvania Ballet. In 2007, he set up 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.
News and features
23 July 2014
The Royal Ballet Artistic Associate has made more ballets on the American dancer than on any other ballerina.
17 July 2014
In preparation for the European premiere of Restless Creature, we explore the NYC Ballet dancer’s top YouTube moments.
With a slip of the foot: How rehearsal mishaps and improvisation can leave a lasting legacy in ballet choreography
19 May 2014
George Balanchine isn't the only choreographer to be influenced by the environment of the rehearsal studio.
28 April 2014
Another chance to see the backstage films screened as part of our live cinema relay.
25 April 2014
The choreographer may be lauded for his narrative ballets, but his abstract one-acts are equally worth seeing.
3 April 2014
Christopher Wheeldon's new work is The Royal Ballet’s first full-length Shakespeare adaptation for almost 50 years.
Tristan Dyer and Beatriz Stix-Brunell in Polyphonia, The Royal Ballet © ROH/Bill Cooper, 2012
Christopher Wheeldon in rehearsal for The Winter's Tale © ROH/Johan Persson, 2014
Edward Watson and Christopher Wheeldon in rehearsal for The Winter's Tale © ROH/Johan Persson, 2014
Christopher Wheeldon and Zenaida Yanowsky in rehearsal for The Winter's Tale © ROH/Johan Persson, 2014
Christopher Wheeldon in rehearsals for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland © ROH/Johan Persson, 2011
Executive and artistic staff of the Royal Opera House at the 2012/13 Season launch © Elliott Franks/ROH 2012
Executive and artistic staff of The Royal Ballet at the 2012/13 Season launch © Elliott Franks/ROH 2012
Christopher Wheeldon, Artistic Associate, The Royal Ballet
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Backstage Access (Fashion) © ROH 2011
Christopher Wheeldon in rehearsal for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland © ROH/Johan Persson, 2011
Christopher Wheeldon © Rosalie O'Connor