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Wendy Whelan -- Into The Future


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#1 Buddy

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 09:03 AM

I'm very interested in where Wendy Whelan is headed dance wise.
 
Wendy Whelan in slow motion is the Wendy Whelan that I love most.
 
This is my favorite dance clip of her, of which I've seen very few.
 
 
This is the only complete work that I've seen of her from her new Restless Creature effort. It starts at 56:00 and relates to the above video best starting at 101:00.
 
 
Any thoughts or comments on this and where she's headed.
 
(both dance clips are official releases)


#2 Buddy

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 04:32 PM

I've been watching the second clip above and I'm liking it very much starting at 1:03:40. These last several minutes are perhaps the most interesting and show a lot of promising future direction. There have been four short clips posted by Wendy Whelan's new production, Restless Creature, and they give a brief insight into how she is working with the four choreographer/dance partners she has chosen. In this clip with Brian Brooks she seems to be the most comfortable and the closest to her old self. This might be confirmed by the fact that it is the piece she chose to present at the Works & Process at the Guggenheim*. Here rather than trying to enter the world and minds of her contemporary dance choreographer/partners, which is her stated intent, she seems to play off what he is doing. Each with their own style seems to work together and compliment each other, rather than be each other. In addition the explorations into motion and meaning that Wendy Whelan is making seems to show up quite well in these last several minutes of dance, blending very well with her long existing excellence in airy elegance and sensitivity.

 

What also interests me very much is the way that she has been carrying ballet sensitivity and beauty outside of ballet. For instance in Christopher Wheeldon's After The Rain (first video above) there is little if any pointe work of the feet. Working with Christopher Wheeldon and now perhaps somewhat parallel they are both extending the range of ballet.

 

 

* There was at least one other work performed as well.  



#3 Buddy

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 04:30 AM

This clip shows Wendy Whelan and Fang-Yi Sheu, former principal dancer of the Martha Graham Dance Company, working on a Christopher Wheeldon piece set to "This Bitter Earth/On the Nature of Daylight" (2011). You see a direction that Wendy Whelan and Christopher Wheeldon are moving in and their bringing classical and contemporary more together. Fang-Yi Sheu, shows us a contemporary dancer entering the same world from the other direction.
 
Wendy Whelan says to Fang-Yi Sheu,
 
"You made Chris's choreography look like it's different than he's ever done, ever, and that was really cool to see, so I think that you took Chris to a new place."
 
(posted by the Vail International Dance Festival)
 
An expanded version can be seen on Vimeo.
 
This lovely ending, with Wendy Whelan, to Christopher Wheeldon's Liturgy is similar to what I once saw in a Chinese 'classical' dance, perhaps another direction for these two artists and western dance to explore.
 
(posted by official source)
 


#4 Buddy

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 04:47 PM

There is one other duet in the Guggenheim program (second video posted above at 19:00). I overlooked it but am enjoying it more and more with each viewing. This is Joshua Beamish's Waltz Epoca. For one thing it just flows so nicely and Wendy Whelan nuances it beautifully.
 
Both Brian Brooks and Joshua Beamish are very exciting and interesting dancers. It's to Wendy Whelan's great credit, being a newcomer to this sort of thing, that she really hangs in there. Not only that, but with real praise to her dancer/choreographer partners, she very prominently and equally shares the spotlight.
 
[last sentence was reworded]


#5 sandik

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 12:34 PM

Beamish has been making some very interesting dances -- he was part of a mixed bill here last year, and seems to be getting around elsewhere.  It's tough to get established as a new choreographer.



#6 California

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 03:55 AM

The big news in this interview is Whelan's plan to retire "after the fall 2014 season" at NYCB. (Has this already been announced elsewhere?) I wonder what they'll do for a retirement performance for her - hottest ticket in town, I would guess!

http://yaledailynews...s-career-dance/

After 30 years with the NYCB, Whelan plans to retire from the company after fall 2014.



#7 abatt

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 09:07 AM

Tickets went on sale today for Whelan's Restless Creature program at the Joyce Theater in New York City.  The engagement is during the first week of April 2014. 



#8 abatt

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 09:27 AM

Sadly, Wendy Whelan will not be touring the US with Restless Creature this Spring due to continued injury.  Happily, she expects to be well enought to appear with NYCB by the Spring Season.  Looking forward to seeing her back on stage.

 

http://artsbeat.blog...-tour/?ref=arts



#9 ksk04

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 02:53 PM

I see on the Carpenter Center for Performing Arts (in Long Beach, CA) website that Wendy Whelan will be performing Restless Creature during their 14/15 Season, in February 2015. I'm not sure if other tour dates have been scheduled, but it seems like the motions are in place to tour Restless Creature in 2015, and to tour it to places that were not originally announced.



#10 ABT Fan

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 05:48 PM

At 9pm EST tonight (in 15 minutes) on the NYC Life channel (WNYE) is a program called "Wendy Whelan: Moments of Grace". It's about her life and career including behind the scenes footage.

#11 poppy seed

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Posted 22 March 2015 - 01:09 PM

I saw Wendy perform both After the Rain and another Christopher Wheeldon piece called This Bitter Earth last year. But, It wasn't the Restless Creature program, her contemporary pieces were sandwiched in by a few more classical ballets, all danced by N.Y.C.B. dancers. She was the obvious star of the night, and wore only soft ballet shoes with no tights. It was truly very beautiful she seemed completely at ease. Some time after the performance, I found a New Yorker article that talked about her turning down the part of the Sugar Plum Fairy multiple times because she thought she wasn't pretty enough. This sort of broke my heart at the time but I'm glad she discovered her style at the end of her career and got to share it with us.



#12 Lynette H

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Posted 24 March 2015 - 04:59 AM

Wendy Whelan appears with Ed Watson at the Linbury Theatre at the ROH this July in a programme of new work. Public booking opens 31 March I think, but there may not be many tickets available. Details here

 

http://www.roh.org.u...ries-by-various




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