Wheeldon, Christopher

Wheeldon, Christopher, 1973–, British ballet dancer and choreographer, studied Royal Ballet School, London. An outstanding contemporary classicist, 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, which is now simply called Morphoses, in 2010. He turned to the Broadway musical in 2015 when he choreographed An American in Paris, based on the Gene Kelly film set to George and Ira Gershwin 's works. He continues to choreograph for a number of companies in the United States and Europe.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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