Christopher Wheeldon

Wheeldon, Christopher, British ballet dancer and choreographer, studied Royal Ballet School, London. A contemporary classicist and one of the most outstanding younger choreographers of the early 21st cent., 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). He also created the complex Commedia (2008) and other works independently. In 2005, Wheeldon received the Dance Magazine Award and the London Critics' Circle Award in the category 'Best New Ballet' for Polyphonia, for which the dancers of New York City Ballet received the Laurence Olivier Award. In 2006, DGV (Danse à Grande Vitesse) was nominated for an Olivier Award. Wheeldon has also been presented with the American Choreography Award. Wheeldon continues to choreograph for a number of companies in the United States and Internationally.