Artist of the Month

 Time to Shine! The Center for Performing Arts  4375 Woodbine Road, Pace, Florida 32571  850.994.5678  info@timetoshineflorida.com

>Christopher Wheeldon, choreographer

Born: March 22, 1973– Called ballet’s hottest choreographer in 2004, Christopher Wheeldon has choreographed more than 30 ballets in 5 years. Wheeldon has been compared to ballet masters George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins almost since he began choreographing. Early Life and Performing Career Christopher Wheeldon was born in Somerset, England. He began lessons at the East Coker Ballet School when he was eight years old after being attracted to ballet when he saw the ‘chicken dance’ in a production of La Fille Mal Gardée on television. He enrolled in London’s Royal Ballet School at age eleven and trained until he was eighteen. And though he was a dancer in those early days, hints of his future as a choreographer shone through. “I enjoyed being the center of attention, being bossy,” Wheeldon told Sarah Kaufman of the Washington Post. 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. In 1993 Wheeldon joined New York City Ballet, promoted to soloist in 1998. Choreography Career Although he enjoyed dancing, Wheeldon never forgot the advice given to him by Sir Kenneth MacMillan, a respected and prolific British ballet choreographer with more than forty ballets under his belt. Wheeldon shared, “He told me, ‘You seem to have some talent for choreography; you should take every opportunity you have to practice it and make ballets’.” Wheeldon did as he was told and choreographed student-led productions for the Royal Ballet School, the London Studio Centre, and the School of American Ballet. He proved himself capable of working with large ballet corps, a talent that set him apart from other young choreographers. Wheeldon quit dancing at the end of the spring season in 2000 to focus his attention and energy on choreography. Peter Martins, director of the NYCB, hired Wheeldon to be the company’s first artist in residence, a position created just for him. Wheeldon was just 28 years old. His first choreographed ballet as resident artist was Polyphonia. It was given its world premiere in January 2001 and received excellent reviews. While choreographing ballets for the NYCB, Wheeldon had his creative hands in projects for other organizations, including the Boston Ballet, the Royal Ballet, and the San Francisco Ballet. He won countless awards for his many ballets, and more than one New York critic called him “the best thing to happen to ballet for 50 years.” 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 Marriott on the closing ceremony of the London Olympic Games. He won the Tony Award for Best Choreography for An American in Paris. https://www.notablebiographies.com/news/Sh-Z/Wheeldon-Christopher.html http://www.roh.org.uk/people/christopher-wheeldon

Artist of the Month

>Christopher Wheeldon, choreographer

 Time to Shine! The Center for Performing Arts  4375 Woodbine Road, Pace, Florida 32571  850.994.5678  info@timetoshineflorida.com
Born: March 22, 1973– Called ballet’s hottest choreographer in 2004, Christopher Wheeldon has choreographed more than 30 ballets in 5 years. Wheeldon has been compared to ballet masters George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins almost since he began choreographing. Early Life and Performing Career Christopher Wheeldon was born in Somerset, England. He began lessons at the East Coker Ballet School when he was eight years old after being attracted to ballet when he saw the ‘chicken dance’ in a production of La Fille Mal Gardée on television. He enrolled in London’s Royal Ballet School at age eleven and trained until he was eighteen. And though he was a dancer in those early days, hints of his future as a choreographer shone through. “I enjoyed being the center of attention, being bossy,” Wheeldon told Sarah Kaufman of the Washington Post. 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. In 1993 Wheeldon joined New York City Ballet, promoted to soloist in 1998. Choreography Career Although he enjoyed dancing, Wheeldon never forgot the advice given to him by Sir Kenneth MacMillan, a respected and prolific British ballet choreographer with more than forty ballets under his belt. Wheeldon shared, “He told me, ‘You seem to have some talent for choreography; you should take every opportunity you have to practice it and make ballets’.” Wheeldon did as he was told and choreographed student-led productions for the Royal Ballet School, the London Studio Centre, and the School of American Ballet. He proved himself capable of working with large ballet corps, a talent that set him apart from other young choreographers. Wheeldon quit dancing at the end of the spring season in 2000 to focus his attention and energy on choreography. Peter Martins, director of the NYCB, hired Wheeldon to be the company’s first artist in residence, a position created just for him. Wheeldon was just 28 years old. His first choreographed ballet as resident artist was Polyphonia. It was given its world premiere in January 2001 and received excellent reviews. While choreographing ballets for the NYCB, Wheeldon had his creative hands in projects for other organizations, including the Boston Ballet, the Royal Ballet, and the San Francisco Ballet. He won countless awards for his many ballets, and more than one New York critic called him “the best thing to happen to ballet for 50 years.” 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 Marriott on the closing ceremony of the London Olympic Games. He won the Tony Award for Best Choreography for An American in Paris. https://www.notablebiographies.com/news/Sh-Z/Wheeldon-Christopher.html http://www.roh.org.uk/people/christopher-wheeldon