Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan

Join us Wednesday, August 9th in Rhinebeck for a q&a with dancer Wendy Whelan, moderated by Miriam Mahdaviani-Goldstone.

RESTLESS CREATURE: WENDY WHELAN offers an intimate portrait of prima ballerina Wendy Whelan as she prepares to leave New York City Ballet after a record-setting three decades with the company.

One of the modern era’s most acclaimed dancers, Whelan was a principal ballerina for NYCB and, over the course of her celebrated career, danced numerous ballets by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, as well as new works by more modern standout choreographers like Christopher Wheeldon and Alexei Ratmansky; many roles were made specifically for Whelan. As the film opens, Whelan is 46, battling a painful injury that has kept her from the ballet stage, and facing the prospect of her impending retirement from the company. What we see, as we journey with her, is a woman of tremendous strength, resilience and good humor. We watch Whelan brave the surgery that she hopes will enable her comeback to NYCB and we watch her begin to explore the world of contemporary dance, as she steps outside the traditionally patriarchal world of ballet to create Restless Creature, a collection of four contemporary vignettes forged in collaboration with four young choreographers.

About the moderator:
MIRIAM MAHDAVIANI danced for the New York City Ballet under the direction of George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, and Peter Martins. During her dance career, she performed in over 40 Balanchine ballets, and worked with notable choreographers including Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Lar Lubovitch, Twyla Tharp, Jacques d’Amboise, 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 first piece of choreography was created on Wendy Whelan, when Ms. Whelan was still a student at the School of American Ballet. Her choreography has been seen at Lincoln Center with NYCB, at Jacob’s Pillow, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Richmond Ballet, several colleges, and at international dance festivals in Italy and Scotland. Mahdaviani has been recognized by Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award, the Mae L. Wien Award, and the Choo San-Goh Award. Ms. Mahdaviani has a degree in Arts Management from Purchase College, and is currently a Professor of Dance at Vassar College.

(USA / 2016 / Directed by Linda Saffire & Adam Schlesinger )
Unrated / 1 hr 30 mins.