Artistic Director’s Notebook: Polyphonia, After the Rain, Carousel (A Dance), Variations Sérieuses

Dear Friends,

We have presented entire programs by one choreographer before, with several by George Balanchine and others featuring Jerome Robbins and Twyla Tharp. I never would have guessed that we would be looking at an entire program of choreography by someone under the age of 40, but Christopher Wheeldon is that good. Each individual work triumphs and collectively the range impresses. Here are a few facts about the program that you may not know:

San Francisco Ballet presented an all-Wheeldon program on tour in 2003 and New York City Ballet plans to present one this winter.

After the Rain was choreographed for Wendy Whelan and Jock Soto for Jock’s retirement from New York City Ballet. Polyphonia was also created on the two.

Carousel (A Dance) was created for the centenary of Richard Rodgers’ birth. It was meant to be performed only once at a gala.

Ian Falconer, set and costume designer for Variations Sérieuses, is also a cartoonist for the New Yorker and the creator of children’s books featuring the very fashionable and headstrong pig, Olivia.

In the original production of Variations, Seth Orza played the role of the lazy corps de ballet boy who bumps into the ballerina.

There’s a step in Variations Sérieuses called the “bitchy chicken.”

Catch Doug Fullington’s interview with Chris tonight at 6:00 PM prior to our dress rehearsal.

See you at the performances.




Peter Boal

Featured photo: PNB dancers Maria Chapman and Karel Cruz in Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain, photo © Angela Sterling.