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Christopher Wheeldon

Biography

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

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.

Videos

News and features

Listen: Christopher Wheeldon on his inspired creative partnership with Wendy Whelan

Listen: Christopher Wheeldon on his inspired creative partnership with Wendy Whelan

23 July 2014

The Royal Ballet Artistic Associate has made more ballets on the American dancer than on any other ballerina.

Watch: Our favourite Wendy Whelan clips

Watch: Our favourite Wendy Whelan clips

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

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.

Watch: Members of the cast and creative team on The Winter’s Tale

Watch: Members of the cast and creative team on The Winter’s Tale

28 April 2014

Another chance to see the backstage films screened as part of our live cinema relay.

Watch: Christopher Wheeldon's One-act Ballets

Watch: Christopher Wheeldon's One-act Ballets

25 April 2014

The choreographer may be lauded for his narrative ballets, but his abstract one-acts are equally worth seeing.

Gallery: Rehearsals for The Winter's Tale

Gallery: Rehearsals for The Winter's Tale

3 April 2014

Christopher Wheeldon's new work is The Royal Ballet’s first full-length Shakespeare adaptation for almost 50 years.



Photos