Accessibility links

Wendy Whelan

Biography

Wendy Whelan in action.
Wendy Whelan's Restless Creature © Christopher Duggan / 2013

Iconic American dancer Wendy Whelan is a principal with New York City Ballet. In July 2014 she brings her show Restless Creature to the Linbury Studio Theatre, dancing four separate duets with their respective choreographers. Her previous performance at the Royal Opera House was as a guest artist with The Royal Ballet, performing the pas de deux from William Forsythe's Herman Schmerman.

Born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, Whelan began her dance studies at the age of three. At 15 she moved to New York to continue her studies at the School of American Ballet. She was invited to become a member of the NYCB corps de ballet in 1986 and was promoted to principal in 1991. Whelan has performed a wide spectrum of the Balanchine repertory and worked closely with Jerome Robbins on many of his ballets. She has created roles in 13 ballets for Christopher Wheeldon, as well as in ballets by Forsythe, Alexei Ratmansky, Wayne McGregor, Jorma Elo, Shen Wei, and Twyla Tharp. Whelan has danced as a guest artist with companies around the world, including the Mariinsky Ballet.

In 2007 Whelan was nominated for an Olivier Award and a Critics' Circle Award for her performances with Morphoses/Wheeldon Company. She received the 2007 Dance Magazine Award, and in 2009 was awarded a Doctorate of Arts, honoris causa, from Bellarmine University. In 2011 she was honored with both The Jerome Robbins Award and a Bessie Award for Sustained Achievement in Performance.

Videos

News and features

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.

Ten minutes with New York City Ballet Principal Wendy Whelan

Ten minutes with New York City Ballet Principal Wendy Whelan

10 July 2014

Wendy Whelan on dancing without pointe shoes and connecting with the audience.

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.

Photos