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Christopher Wheeldon & 'Morphoses'New Company ????


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#1 leonid17

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 08:44 AM

Hidden in the article read via links re@Vail Valley Festival is the following:

"The second week of the dance festival will put the Vail Valley squarely in the global spotlight as one of the foremost choreographers in the world today Christopher Wheeldon brings his new vision to Vail in two performances featuring his new company, MORPHOSES, headlined by stars of the international dance world.

"Superlatives have been exhausted in describing the abilities of Christopher Wheeldon," said Woetzel. "And the honor of being able to introduce his new venture is enormous. Vail will serve as center stage for the world's most acclaimed young choreographer."

The main performance, Aug. 10, will include several of Wheeldon's most successful works, along with previews of his newest creations. In addition, an up close and personal evening Aug. 8 at the Vilar Center will introduce a select audience to Wheeldon the artist, with a one of a kind look at and discussion of a work in progress, hosted by Woetzel."

Has Mr. Wheeldon got a company called MORPHOSES, has it appeared elsewhere?

My apologies if this posted elsewhere.

#2 GoCoyote!

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 10:03 AM

I think he choeographed a work called Morphoses in 2002. I guess there's a chance wires have been crossed in the article, or maybe he's given his new company (if he has one), that name too.

OK, after writing the above I googled 'christopher wheeldon' I came up a minimal website called morphoses.org which closely mirrors a site called christopherwheeldon.com and has a form you can fill in to 'to learn our plans'....

However, strictly steaking neither site has confirmation that they belong to the same CW we are talking about here and there's no biog, pictures or anything to indicate it is him, but I guess we can pretty safely assume these are his sites.

#3 leonid17

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 10:40 AM

I think he choeographed a work called Morphoses in 2002. I guess there's a chance wires have been crossed in the article, or maybe he's given his new company (if he has one), that name too.

OK, after writing the above I googled 'christopher wheeldon' I came up a minimal website called morphoses.org which closely mirrors a site called christopherwheeldon.com and has a form you can fill in to 'to learn our plans'....

However, strictly steaking neither site has confirmation that they belong to the same CW we are talking about here and there's no biog, pictures or anything to indicate it is him, but I guess we can pretty safely assume these are his sites.


Thank you for this information.

#4 Dale

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 06:12 AM

Wheeldon talks to the New York Times about the new venture:

http://www.nytimes.c...r=1&oref=slogin

#5 Farrell Fan

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 10:04 AM

If I read the NY Times correctly, the new company is to be called "Morphoses the Wheeldon Company." This kind of pretentious, unpunctuated prolixity doesn't work when actual people are involved. In baseball,"Oriole Park at Camden Yards" soon became just "Camden Yards," and, similarly, I trust this enterprise will be known as "the Wheeldon company."

#6 dirac

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 10:32 AM

If I read the NY Times correctly, the new company is to be called "Morphoses the Wheeldon Company." This kind of pretentious, unpunctuated prolixity doesn't work when actual people are involved. In baseball,"Oriole Park at Camden Yards" soon became just "Camden Yards," and, similarly, I trust this enterprise will be known as "the Wheeldon company."


Yup - or just plain 'Morphoses.' Whatever. The NYT article has some choice quotes.

He continued, “I’m sort of stepping into an area where people might think, ‘Why does New York need another ballet company when we’ve already got two?’ ” (In addition to City Ballet, New York is home to American Ballet Theater.) Answering his own question, he said, “Maybe it doesn’t, but I’m going to do it, and we’ll see if I’m foolish or not.”


Perhaps Martins should have had him sign a noncompete agreement. :)

#7 dirac

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 12:25 PM

On a less flippant note, this would seem to be a better move for Wheeldon, from the artistic point of view, than the peripatetic choreographic existence he’s been leading.

#8 Anthony_NYC

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 01:28 PM

If I read the NY Times correctly, the new company is to be called "Morphoses the Wheeldon Company." This kind of pretentious, unpunctuated prolixity doesn't work when actual people are involved. In baseball,"Oriole Park at Camden Yards" soon became just "Camden Yards," and, similarly, I trust this enterprise will be known as "the Wheeldon company."

Oy hes got as much of a tin ear as Eliot Feld when it comes to naming his company it doesnt make sense anyway without punctuation but he he mght at least add one more word and let the world know its a dance company.

However, it's tremendously exciting news! I admire his boldness, and wish him the best.

#9 carbro

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 02:04 PM

Perhaps Martins should have had him sign a noncompete agreement. :)

He did, at least partially. That was why, when ABT presented its Wheeldon (VIII), it was a reworking of a ballet originally done on Hamburg. Wheeldon premieres in New York were the sole province of NYCB. I don't know whether that was a clause in his contract (and therefore null and void at contract's expiration), or whether NYCB has released him from that obligation out of friendship.

I'm very curious about the dancers he'll hire.

#10 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 02:09 PM

I'm going to hell for this, but "Morphoses the Wheeldon Company" reminds me in grammatical construction of "Toad the Wet Sprocket". http://www.toadthewetsprocket.com/

I keep thinking, "Well, yes but how?"

#11 sandik

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 03:11 PM

I'm going to hell for this, but "Morphoses the Wheeldon Company" reminds me in grammatical construction of "Toad the Wet Sprocket". http://www.toadthewetsprocket.com/

I keep thinking, "Well, yes but how?"


I'll be joining you on a bench there. I get so itchy when people give their ensembles tricky names. I've written calendar copy for years, and my eyes roll every time I get one of those twisters.

More central to the actual thread here, I'm wondering if this is in fact a good move for him. No matter how peripatetic the life of an itinerant choreographer (which, like any freelancer, is as much about getting the assignment as it is making the work) running your own shop has tasks and responsibilities that he hasn't had to deal with, as a hired hand. It may mean a certain amount of artistic freedom, but I don't know that it guarantees any additional time in the studio.

On the plus side, smaller ensembles are much more likely to tour than large groups, which may mean that people outside the bigger dance towns will see something of his work.

(ETA) The article mentions that the group will perform work by other choreographers as well -- any speculation about what work Wheeldon might program alongside his own?

#12 Helene

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 03:54 PM

More central to the actual thread here, I'm wondering if this is in fact a good move for him. No matter how peripatetic the life of an itinerant choreographer (which, like any freelancer, is as much about getting the assignment as it is making the work) running your own shop has tasks and responsibilities that he hasn't had to deal with, as a hired hand. It may mean a certain amount of artistic freedom, but I don't know that it guarantees any additional time in the studio.

He does have Lourdez Lopez to handle the admin tasks, according to the Times article. I have to wonder if Martins is smiling to himself, knowing that in his new position, Wheeldon will have to spend some of that studio time fundraising (and understanding how much energy and time it takes), although having partners like Vail and Sadler's Wells sounds like a great way to ensure base financial security.

What I find promising among the 30- and 40-somethings that are starting small troupes or taking over companies as they ease out of performing careers are the murmurs of cooperation among them.

#13 Kathleen O'Connell

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 04:22 PM

Lordy. All I can think of is "Xerox the Document Company" (Or rather, it was all I could think of until Leigh brought up "Toad the Wet Sprocket" -- yes, Leigh, you will indeed burn in hell!) Maybe Martins helped him choose the name. :)

We can at least be thankful that the spaces were retained even as the punctuation was jettisoned -- i.e., that we haven't been presented with some variant of MorPHoseStheWheeldonCompany.

How does one say "Morphoses" anyway? Mor´phoses or Mor-pho´ses?

In any event, it sounds too much like Morpheus, which will be a gift to any critic rendered somnolent by a dull program.

#14 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 04:37 PM

I think the role is a good one for him to assume; he'll learn to think like a director, not just a choreographer.

Since I'm already in hell for Toad the Wet Wheeldon Morphoses Sprocket Company (This is the time on Shprockets when we dance!) I'm going to reserve my guest suite by wondering who wants to connect the dots and wonder what the confluence of events was between Morphoses and McGregor's appointment at the Royal?

They're awfully close together. Related, or not?

#15 Drew

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 05:37 PM

I confess that part of me was a little disheartened that Wheeldon said in the Times article that he wasn't interested in inheriting a tradition...that he wanted to start from scratch (at least institutionally). Of course, I can understand why he might want to do that--for a Wheeldon "fan" this can't be anything but great news.

But I feel that ballet and the great ballet companies need choreographers who ARE interested in inheriting traditions and working within institutional frameworks. Balanchine did otherwise--but if he had been offered the Paris Opera Ballet I don't know that he would have... Perhaps. In the Ballets Russes documentary Baronova (I think it was she) says he wanted to be the person in charge...

Forsythe (whom Wheeldon mentions) and Feld are more recent models whose work at least stands in some relation to classical ballet--I haven't seen anything of their recent work so I can't say much! But I still find it troubling that the most promising ballet choreographers seem impelled to operate on what one might call a modern dance model: a smaller company centered on the vision of one founding figure.

Leigh--are you speculating that Wheeldon might have hoped to have been offered the Royal Ballet position? I would certainly prefer that it had gone to him, as I see him as a ballet choreographer, rather than McGregor (despite the fact that I would not, in fact, describe myself as a Wheeldon fan...yet at any rate). But it's hard for me to believe Mason wouldn't have gone for Wheeldon had he been available, and if he wanted that kind of position why not stay on at NYCB especially since he intends to keep his own company in New York and use a number of NYCB dancers....It sounds to me as if he really does want to be on his own.


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