Christopher Wheeldon

(22 March 1973)

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Christopher-Wheeldon
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Born in Somerset England in 1973, Christopher 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; joining The Royal Ballet in 1991 he won the Gold Medal at the Prix de Lausanne competition. In 1993 he left for New York City Ballet (NYCB), where he was promoted to Soloist in 1998. He began choreographing while at The Royal Ballet, and for NYCB created Slavonic Dances for the Diamond Project in 1997. In 2000 he retired from dancing, becoming NYCB’s first-ever Resident Choreographer. Since then he has choreographed at least one ballet a year for NYCB, including Carousel (A Dance) (2002), Liturgy (2003), An American in Paris (2005), Klavier (2006) and The Nightingale and the Rose (2007). He has also been in demand with other leading companies, notable works including Continuum, Within the Golden Hour, Ghosts and Number Nine (San Francisco Ballet), Tryst, DGV: Danse à grande vitesse and Electric Counterpoint (Royal Ballet), a full-length Swan Lake (Pennsylvania Ballet, 2004) and Misericors (Bolshoi Ballet, 2007). He was appointed Artistic Associate of The Royal Ballet in 2012.
Outside the ballet world, he choreographed Dance of the Hours for Ponchielli’s La Gioconda (Metropolitan Opera, New York, 2006), ballet sequences for the feature film Cenrer Stage (2000) and a Broadway version of Sweet Smell of Success (2002). Recent premieres include The Sleeping Beauty (Royal Danish Ballet, 2010), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (The Royal Ballet, February 2011), Thirteen Diversions (American Ballet Theatre, May 2011) and Les Carillons (NYCB, January 2012). He collaborated with Alastair Marriott on the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games. In 2007, Wheeldon founded Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company. He has received the Martin E. Segal Award from Lincoln Centre and the American Choreography Award, and in 2005 received the Dance Magazine Award. He won the Critics’ Circle Award for Best New Ballet for Polyphonia. DGV: Danse à grande vitesse was nominated for an Olivier Award in 2006, and the inaugural season of Morphoses at Sadler’s Wells won a South Bank Show Award.