Magazine article Out

This Wheeldon's Fire

Magazine article Out

This Wheeldon's Fire

Article excerpt

Ballet's enfant terrible has only tough love and big plans for his art form.

Christopher Wheeldon wields a lot of power in the world of ballet. Happily, as the former soloist and resident choreographer-and, frankly, the golden boy-of the New York City Ballet, he wields it gracefully. Wheeldon, 35, began dancing in his youth at London's Royal Ballet, and he lives, breathes, and loves (his partner, Jock Soto, is a recently retired New York City Ballet legend) ballet even as he yanks it into the 2ist century.

Since starting his company, Morphoses, in 2007, Wheeldon has sought to bring the elevated forms of classical dance to the masses. Audiences from London to New York to Vail have responded with sold-out shows and standing ovations. Thankfully, Wheeldon isn't going the route of Bravo's Step It Up and Dance. "We want to attract people who think they might not understand ballet [and] make it accessible." You won't see kneepads, conga lines, or-God forbid-turned-in pirouettes and flexed feet. "It's a matter of updating the form elegantly and with integrity."

A recent Morphoses performance starts with a short documentary film of dancers engaged in grueling rehearsals. …

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