WENDY WHELAN, AMERICA’S GREATEST CONTEMPORARY BALLERINA, TO PERFORM CHICAGO DEBUT OF RESTLESS CREATURE AT THE HARRIS THEATER
First project from Wendy Whelan New Works Initiative after recovery from hip surgery
CHICAGO (October 14, 2014)— The Harris Theater for Music and Dance is proud to announce the rescheduled Chicago premiere of Restless Creature, on Wednesday, January 21, 2015, at 7:30PM. This much-anticipated new collaborative work from New York City Ballet’s Wendy Whelan features duets created by and danced with highly sought-after choreographers Kyle Abraham, Joshua Beamish, Brian Brooks, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Resident Choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo. Whelan was previously scheduled to perform Restless Creature at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance last March before undergoing surgery and recovery to mend a labral tear in her right hip.
The New York Times has called Whelan “America’s greatest contemporary ballerina.” During her 30-year career with The New York City Ballet, she has mastered Balanchine’s neoclassical repertory, danced classics such as Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake, and created works with many of today’s leading choreographers. Whelan will give her final performance with The New York City Ballet on October 18, 2014.
Having reached the height of her field, Whelan, now 46, is embarking on a groundbreaking journey at an age when most ballerinas retire from the stage. She has launched Wendy Whelan New Works Initiative, which begins with Restless Creature, a suite of four duets, each with its own distinct style and artistry. Restless Creature received its world premiere in August 2013 at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.
“I actually had the Harris Theater in mind while I was developing my project. I sort of tailor-made the work for this kind of theater,” Whelan said.
Jay Franke and David Herro are the Presenting Sponsors of Wendy Whelan Restless Creature. The presentation of Restless Creature was also made possible by the MetLife Community Connections Fund of the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project. Major support for NDP is also provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Tickets are available at harristheaterchicago.org or by calling the Box Office at 312.334.7777.
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About Wendy Whelan
Wendy Whelan studied at the School of American Ballet. She was invited to become a member of the New York
City Ballet corps de ballet in 1986 and was promoted to principal dancer in 1991. Whelan has performed a wide spectrum of the Balanchine repertory and has worked closely with Jerome Robbins on many of his ballets. She has originated featured roles in 13 ballets for Christopher Wheeldon, as well as in the ballets of William Forsythe,
Alexei Ratmansky, Wayne McGregor, Jorma Elo, Shen Wei and Twyla Tharp. In 2007, Whelan was nominated for an Olivier Award and a Critics Circle Award for her performances with Morphoses/Wheeldon Company. She has been a guest artist with The Royal Ballet and with the Kirov Ballet. She received the 2007 Dance Magazine Award, and in 2009 was given a Doctorate of Arts, honoris causa, from Bellarmine University. In 2011, she was honored with both The Jerome Robbins Award and a Bessie Award for her Sustained Achievement in Performance.
About Restless Creature
Restless Creature was co-produced by Wendy Whelan, The Joyce Theater Foundation, and Sunny Artist
Management Inc., and co-commissioned by Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, The Joyce Theater Foundation, and
Carolina Performing Arts.
Restless Creature is the inaugural work of the Wendy Whelan New Works Initiative, and is made possible by a creative residency space grant provided by the Baryshnikov Arts Center. Presentations of Restless Creature are made possible by the MetLife Community Connections Fund of the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project. Major support for National Dance Project is provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Restless Creature and the Wendy Whelan New Works Initiative is made possible by the generous support of:
Producers’ Benefactor Circle: *Diana and Joe DiMenna, *Mary Jo and Ted Shen;
Partners’ Benefactor Circle: *Catherine and Mark Slavonia;
Patrons’ Benefactor Circle: *Charles and Debbie Adelman, *Kerry Clayton and Paige
Royer, *Stuart H. Coleman, Esq., *Judith M. Hoffman, and *Michèle and Steven Pesner;
Friends’ Benefactor Circle:
Jody and John Arnhold, Margo Krody and Mitchell J. Blutt, Mary Sharp Cronson, New York Community
Trust/Wallace Special Projects Fund, Jon L. Stryker and Slobodan Randjelović.
*Denotes a Funding Sponsor of the Wendy Whelan New Works Initiative
About Harris Theater for Music and Dance
The Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance is a 1500-seat state-of-the art performance venue located in Chicago’s Millennium Park. Opened in November 2003, the nonprofit Harris Theater was the first multi-use performance venue built in downtown Chicago since 1929. Harris Theater serves as a unique national model of collaboration between the philanthropic community and performing arts organizations in music and dance. More than a decade later, the theater features the most diverse offerings of any venue in Chicago, hosting local, national, and internationally renowned artists and ensembles.
The Harris Theater’s primary mission is to partner with an array of Chicago’s music and dance performing arts organizations to help them build the resources and infrastructure necessary to achieve artistic growth and long-term organizational sustainability. The Harris Theater’s original group of 12 resident companies has grown to include 35 diverse and exceptionally talented performing arts organizations, including internationally acclaimed Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Music of the Baroque, Chicago Opera Theater, Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNow, and collaborations with Lyric Opera of Chicago, National Museum of Mexican Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and Columbia College Chicago. Through these partnerships, the Theater has earned national recognition as a distinctive model for collaboration, performance, and artistic advancement.
The Theater supports its mission by providing partner organizations with subsidized rental, technical expertise, and marketing support, allowing the organizations to focus on what they do best—bringing the finest in music and dance performances to the public. The Theater offers professional development opportunities, including the innovate Learning Lab, endorsed with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Harris Theater is also dedicated to presenting internationally acclaimed music and dance organizations to enhance its reputation as well as to help build audiences for the Theater’s resident companies. Through the Harris Theater Presents series, the Theater has achieved widespread recognition as a vital cultural anchor in Chicago. Daniel Barenboim, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Renee Fleming, the Hamburg Ballet, Lang Lang, the New York City Ballet, the Paris Opéra Ballet, the San Francisco Ballet, Stephen Sondheim, and many others have graced the Harris’ Elizabeth Morse Genius Stage through this series.
The Harris Theater maintains a commitment to community engagement for children, teens and adults. Programs advance access to, and understanding of, the performing arts. They include the Family Series and the lunchtime Eat to the Beat series. Collaborating with community arts centers and health and human service agencies, the Theater has provided more than 7,000 complimentary tickets through its Access Tickets Program. Through the Teen Arts Project, the theater partners with public and private schools to provide behind-the-scenes access to visiting world-class artists through master classes, artist discussions, and other enrichment activities.
To learn more about the Harris Theater, please visit HarrisTheaterChicago.org. Call the Marketing Department at 312.334.2419 to request a brochure or additional information.
The Harris Theater is proud to have the support of The Northern Trust Company as its 2014–2015 season sponsor. United Airlines is the official and exclusive airline of the Harris Theater. Hyatt Regency Chicago is the Harris Theater 2014–2015 season hotel partner. The Theater also gratefully acknowledges the Irving Harris Foundation for its leadership support of the Presenting Fund, and is grateful for the establishment of the Caryn and King Harris, Harris Family Foundation, Dance Residency Fund. The Harris Theater is partially supported by the Illinois Arts Council Agency. All performances take place on The Elizabeth Morse Genius Stage at the Harris Theater.