Who is Christopher Wheeldon?

Who is Christopher Wheeldon?

Meet the Award-Winning Choreographer and Director

Christopher Wheeldon, OBE trained at The Royal Ballet School and danced with The Royal Ballet and New York City Ballet (NYCB). Wheeldon was named NYCB’s first resident choreographer in 2001 and has since created works for many of the world’s major ballet companies. He founded Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company in 2007. Wheeldon now serves as artistic associate of The Royal Ballet, where choreography credits include Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and The Winter’s Tale. He choreographed Dance of the Hours for Ponchielli’s La Gioconda and Richard Eyre’s Carmen for the Metropolitan Opera, as well as a special excerpt for the London 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony, ballet sequences for the film Center Stage, and Broadway musical Sweet Smell of Success. In 2014, Wheeldon directed and choreographed the musical An American in Paris, for which he won the Tony Award for Best Choreography and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Choreography and Direction.

San Francisco Ballet rehearsing Wheeldon’s Bound To // Bound To© by Christopher Wheeldon; Photo © Erik Tomasson

Other recent credits include a reimagination of The Nutcracker for The Joffrey Ballet, a gala presentation of Lerner & Loewe’s Brigadoon starring Kelli O’Hara and Patrick Wilson at New York City Center, the premiere of Corybantic Games with The Royal Ballet, and productions of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in Tokyo, The Winter’s Tale with The Bolshoi Ballet, and a re-staged version of Cinderella for the English National Ballet at The Royal Albert Hall. Among Wheeldon’s awards are two Olivier Awards for Aeternum and Polyphonia, and two Benois de la Danse awards for Cinderella and The Winter’s Tale, as well as the Martin E. Segal Award, American Choreography Award, a Dance Magazine Award, multiple London Critics’ Circle Awards, and the Léonide Massine Prize for new choreography. In 2016, Wheeldon was named an OBE and made an Honorary Fellow of American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

Bound To
After the Rain
Within the Golden Hour
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SF Ballet has performed Wheeldon’s After the Rain Pas de Deux, Borealis, Carousel–A Dance, Cinderella, Continuum, Ghosts, Number Nine, Polyphonia, Quaternary, Rush, Sea Pictures, There Where She Loved, Within the Golden Hour, and Bound To. A new world premiere ballet choreographed by Wheeldon—Finale Finale—is part of SF Ballet’s 2022 Season. It was performed in Program 6 from April 6–15, 2022.

Header Image (from left): San Francisco Ballet in Wheeldon’s Rush© // © Erik Tomasson; Christopher Wheeldon // © Angela Sterling; Dores André and Benjamin Freemantle in Wheeldon’s Bound To // Bound To© by Christopher Wheeldon; Photo © Erik Tomasson