Whelan, Wendy

Whelan, Wendy,

1967–, American ballet dancer, b. Louisville, Ky. A soloist (1989) and principal (1991) with the New York City BalletNew York City Ballet
(NYCB), one of the foremost American dance companies of the 20th and 21st cents. It was founded by Lincoln Kirstein and George Balanchine as the Ballet Society in 1946.
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 (NYCB), the angular, muscled Whelan became known for her roles in such BalanchineBalanchine, George
, 1904–83, American choreographer and ballet dancer, b. St. Petersburg, Russia, as Georgi Balanchivadze. The son of a Georgian composer and a Russian mother, Balanchine attended (1913–21) the Imperial Ballet School, St.
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 classics as Liebeslieder Walzer, the "Diamonds" section from Jewels, and Symphony in Three Movements, and such Jerome RobbinsRobbins, Jerome,
1918–98, American choreographer and dancer, b. New York City as Jerome Wilson Rabinowitz. Robbins began his career dancing in musicals (1937). In 1940 he joined the Ballet Theatre and in 1948 became associate artistic director of the New York City Ballet.
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 ballets as The Cage and, in a role created for her, Brandenburg (1997), as well as for her performances in William ForsytheForsythe, William
, 1949–, American dancer and choreographer, b. New York City. He trained with the Joffrey Ballet (1971–73), then joined the Stuttgart Ballet (1973), becoming its resident choreographer (1978).
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's Herman Schmerman (1992). Later noted roles with the NYCB include those in Christopher WheeldonWheeldon, 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.
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's Polyphonia (2001) and After the Rain (2005) and Alexei RatmanskyRatmansky, Alexei,
1968–, Russian ballet dancer and choreographer, b. Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). He studied with Bolshoi Ballet school (1978–86), and in the mid-1990s moved first to Canada, where he danced with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and then to Denmark and
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's Concerto DSCH (2008). In 2012 Whelan began collaborating independently with four contemporary dancer-choreographers, premiering their works and dancing with them at the Jacob's Pillow Dance FestivalJacob's Pillow Dance Festival,
summer dance concert series held annually near Lee, Mass., in the Berkshires. The site, originally an 18th-century farm, was purchased by the American modern dancer Ted Shawn in 1930, and three years later it became the home of his Men Dancers
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 (2013). After retiring from NYCB (2014), she continued her partnership with Brian Brooks, with whom she premiered Some of a Thousand Words (2016) at Jacob's Pillow.


See documentary dir. by L. Saffire and A. Schlesinger.

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