Wheeldon, Christopher, 1973–, British ballet dancer and choreographer, studied Royal Ballet School, London. A contemporary classicist and one of the most outstanding younger choreographers of the early 21st cent., Wheeldon creates dances that are lyrical, witty, sensual, and innovative, honoring ballet's traditions while simultaneously expanding its boundaries. After winning the prestigious Prix de Lausanne for his choreography at 17, he joined (1991) the Royal Ballet's corps de ballet. In 1993 he moved to the New York City Ballet (NYCB), beginning in the corps and later (1999) becoming a soloist. He also began choreographing, first for the NYCB's school and later for the company, which produced his first major work, Slavonic Dances (1997). Turning to choreography full-time in 2000, Wheeldon served (2001–8) as the NYCB's principal choreographer. Among his best-known works are Scènes de Ballet (1999), Polyphonia (2001), Morphoses (2002), After the Rain (2005), and Klavier (2006). In 2007 he founded Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company, for which he created the complex Commedia (2008) and other works. Wheeldon left the company in 2010, which is now simply called Morphoses. He continues to choreograph for a number of companies in the United States and Europe.
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