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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

Watch: Members of the cast and creative team on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Watch: Members of the cast and creative team on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

16 December 2014

Backstage films from the live relay of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, including a closer look at the character of the Queen of Hearts

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland dance highlight: The Caterpillar

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland dance highlight: The Caterpillar

4 December 2014

Christopher Wheeldon fuses ballet with breakdancing, Asian dance and contemporary choreography to create the enigmatic Caterpillar.

Christopher Wheeldon and the many different styles that bring Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to life

Christopher Wheeldon and the many different styles that bring Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to life

1 December 2014

To create his ballet the choreographer drew on everything from classical ballet to tap and Broadway musicals.

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.

Photos