22 March 1973 |
|Education||Royal Ballet School|
|Notable work(s)||Alice's Adventures in Wonderland · After the Rain · An American in Paris · Les Carillons · Carnival of the Animals · Carousel (A Dance) · DGV: Danse à Grande Vitesse · Estancia · Evenfall · Five Movements, Three Repeats · Ghosts · Klavier · Liturgy · Morphoses · The Nightingale and the Rose · Polyphonia · Rococo Variations · Scènes de Ballet · Slavonic Dances · La Stravaganza · Variations Sérieuses|
|Awards||Prix de Lausanne|
Life and career
Born in Yeovil, Somerset, to an engineer and a physical therapist, Wheeldon began training to be a ballet dancer at the age of 8. He attended the Royal Ballet School between the ages of 11 and 18. In 1991, Wheeldon joined the Royal Ballet, London; and in that same year, he won the Gold Medal at the Prix de Lausanne competition. In 1993, at the age of 19, Wheeldon moved to New York City to join the New York City Ballet. Wheeldon was named Soloist in 1998 
Wheeldon began choreographing for the New York City Ballet in 1997, while continuing his career as a dancer. He retired as a dancer in 2000 in order to focus on his choreography.
In 2001, Wheeldon became the New York City Ballet resident choreographer and first resident artist. He was productive in this position, choreographing a number of much lauded works for the troupe, Polyphonia being the first. He quickly developed a reputation as a talented choreographer, and several other eminent ballet companies, such as the San Francisco Ballet, the Bolshoi Ballet, and the Royal Ballet, London have commissioned dances from him. As of May, 2003, Wheeldon had composed at least 23 works.
In November 2006 Wheeldon announced the formation of Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company, a transatlantic company with a US base at New York City Center and in the UK at Sadler's Wells Theatre, London. In its first season, the company performed in Vail, London and New York. Wheeldon completed his tenure as Resident Choreographer of New York City Ballet in February 2008. In 2009 the City Parks Foundation commissioned Wheeldon and contemporary singer/songwriter Martha Wainwright to create a new work. The piece, entitled "Tears of St. Lawrence," premiered at Central Park SummerStage on 14 and 15 August. The fifteen-minute ballet, choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon and Edwaard Liang, featured twelve dancers accompanied by live music and song by Wainwright, who sang while intermingling with the dancers. In February, 2010, resigned from Morphoses, which will continue to produce ballets without his name.
An Emmy award winning fly-on-the-wall TV documentary "Strictly Bolshoi" followed Wheeldon as he became the first Englishman to be invited to create a new work for the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet.
In the June/July 2009 issue of The Advocate, Wheeldon was featured on a list of artists who made the "Forty Under 40" list. Christopher Wheeldon was appointed Artistic Associate of The Royal Ballet in 2012.
In 2011, Wheeldon premiered a full-length ballet "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" at the Royal Ballet, Covent Garden. This was the first full-length ballet created at the Royal Ballet for over 20 years, and was jointly commissioned with the National Ballet of Canada. The ballet had its world premiere on 28 February 2011 (with Royal Ballet principal Lauren Cuthbertson in the lead role) and featured a brand new score by Joby Talbot.
In 2014, Wheeldon premiered another full-length ballet, The Winter's Tale for the Royal Ballet, Covent Garden based on the Shakespeare play of the same name. It, too, featured a score by Joby Talbot and has been given a generally good review - 'a ballet to keep' says The Daily Telegraph.
- Brown, Mark. "Ballet world abuzz at British choreographer's huge gamble," Manchester Guardian, 5 January 2007.
- Playbill, New York City Ballet , January 2008.
- Club Pointe, February, 2010
- http://www.advocate.com/issue_story_ektid82039.asp?page=6 Forty Under 40: Arts
- Christopher Wheeldon Royal Opera House, accessed 19 December 2012
- ""Ballet Oscar" winners honored at Bolshoi". Voice of Russia. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
- Carman, Joseph. The evolution of Christopher Wheeldon, Dance Magazine, May, 2003
- Carman, Joseph. "Christopher Wheeldon: Making the Most Out of Both Ballet Worlds," Dance Magazine, November 1996.
- Christopher Wheeldon, NY Times archive