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Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan

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Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan

“‘If I don’t dance, I’d rather die’—I’ve actually said that,” Wendy Whelan laughs at one point, acknowledging how ridiculous this might sound. But that doesn’t mean the sentiment is false. This intimate documentary opens on the world-renowned ballerina at age 46, battling a painful injury that has kept her from the stage, and facing the prospect of her impending retirement after a record-setting 30 years with New York City Ballet (NYCB). We watch Whelan brave the surgery that she hopes will enable her comeback to NYCB while beginning to explore the world of dance outside of the company. In coming to terms with the inevitably of aging, she defies the clock by venturing into her first solo project, Restless Creature. As we journey with Whelan through candid interviews and breathtaking footage of her mesmerizing talent, we’re ultimately left with an inspiring portrait of strength, resilience, and good humor.

Tickets: $8 (member), $13 (nonmember)


Q&A ballerina Wendy Whelan interviewed by dancer/choreographer Miriam Mahdaviani
Tuesday, Jun. 6 2017, 7:30
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Widely considered one of the world’s leading dancers, legendary ballerina Wendy Whelan’s career has spanned over three decades, 50 ballets, and performances in numerous countries around the globe. Wendy spent 30 years at New York City Ballet, dancing virtually all the major Balanchine roles, working closely with Jerome Robbins on many of his ballets and originating roles by notable choreographers such as William Forsythe, Twyla Tharp, Alexei Ratmansky, and Christopher Wheeldon. Her inaugural solo project, Restless Creature, premiered at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in 2013. After major hip surgery and months of rehabilitation, she returned to the stage to perform during NYCB’s spring 2014 season. Wendy's second solo project, choreographed for The Royal Ballet, premiered at the Royal Opera House in London in 2015.

Miriam Mahdaviani danced for the New York City Ballet under the direction of George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, and Peter Martins. Other dance career highlights include performing on Broadway, at the Kremlin in Moscow, on screen in the Dance in America series on PBS, and in NYCB’s movie of Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. Mahdaviani's choreography has been seen at Lincoln Center with NYCB, Jacob’s Pillow, and international dance festivals. Ms. Mahdaviani is currently a Professor of Dance at Vassar College.

This film is part of the Dance on Film series.

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