Jump to content
lacdescygnes

"Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan"

Recommended Posts

I finally saw this the other day on Netflix and I found it engrossing.

The x-ray of her back as a young girl before she got the brace for her scoliosis - oh my goodness. I could not believe how severely crooked her spine was. It's amazing that she was able to dance at all.

It was surreal to see Peter Martins post-"retirement". He came off as quite caring of her.

I was fascinated with the parts on her injury, surgery (not as gory as I was expecting) and recovery, and it's incredible that until that time she had been basically injury-free her entire career. It was very touching to see Albert Evans, and disheartening to hear other dancers tell Whelan something to the effect of "oh, I'm sorry I haven't called/texted/emailed, I've been so busy...." while she was out. It seems like she was forgotten.

Overall, I really felt for her and it was quite sad at times. Yes, dancers have a laser focus and train intensively from an early age. But, Whelan really had tunnel vision (not a criticism) and came up at a time when having outside interests or pursuits (or babies) was not nearly as common as it is for today's young dancers. But, I didn't get the sense that she was blaming NYCB for any of that. I was especially moved when she talked about some recently retired dancers who had transitioned into other careers that they had been preparing for while they were still dancing, and here she is face-to-face with retirement with nothing else to do, nothing else that she wants to do. I really felt that she felt her life was coming to an end. Though, by the end of the documentary she seemed more at peace with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

I don't know how you could arrive at that conclusion.  She seems desperately grasping  with Watson (?) and other attempts. I assume she will end up teaching. Who esp accomplished active forty year old person wants to sit at home staring  at the  tv decades

Edited by Vs1

Share this post


Link to post

I quite agree with ABT Fan: I, too, got the impression as the documentary progressed that she was coming to terms more with a transition from being a full-time company member, and I saw nothing desperate about her wanting to continue in contemporary works. I don't think older dancers should be erased as they grow older. Whelan may teach, but she's already proven herself a stager to respect when she came to Seattle to stage Ratmansky's "Pictures at an Exhibition." From all public accounts, the dancers, unsolicited, raved about her preparation and sensitivity in the studio and felt it a privilege to work with her.

Share this post


Link to post

There are fifty practically empty dance studios in the surrounding five villages to my house.  I doubt she'd want to teach five year olds at each once a week for a few bucks each

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Vs1 said:

There are fifty practically empty dance studios in the surrounding five villages to my house.  I doubt she'd want to teach five year olds at each once a week for a few bucks each

I'm really confused by this comment.  Who are you responding to?  Whelan would never have a problem getting high paying teaching gigs if she wanted them.

Share this post


Link to post

what is a high paying gig

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Vs1 said:

what is a high paying gig

Well just as an example, I know for a fact that a teacher about an hour from where I live charges $175 for private lessons.  And parents pay it.  I believe Wendy Whelan has the star power to travel and book privates/master classes and make a killing; if she needed the money.  Maybe she doesn't.

 

Edit: I actually have no idea how much ballet teachers get paid! (for regular classes)  In my area however, there's a large well run studio, and the lifestyle of those teachers suggests they're doing quite well for themselves.  But that may be because they supplement their income with private lessons.

Edited by Balletwannabe

Share this post


Link to post

Does she work full time

Share this post


Link to post

Whelan is listed on Ballet Academy East's website as a member of their pre-professional faculty. Her appointment to that faculty was discussed here not long after her retirement. (I have no idea what the terms of her employment are. I imagine it would be fascinating to see her at work as a teacher.)

Share this post


Link to post
6 hours ago, Drew said:

Whelan is listed on Ballet Academy East's website as a member of their pre-professional faculty. Her appointment to that faculty was discussed here not long after her retirement. (I have no idea what the terms of her employment are. I imagine it would be fascinating to see her at work as a teacher.)

Somehow I missed that.  That's wonderful.  Lucky students.  

Share this post


Link to post
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×