Ballet – Christopher Wheeldon celebration

Edit: I have to share with you some pictures of last night 🙂

Click on DanceTab’s flickr for more

I had to pick a few from their beautiful collection, click for bigger images and have a look at the gallery above as well for more:


The finale of the pas de deux in the video you have below from After the Rain/Wheeldon. The incredible Marianela Nunez and Thiago Soares (photo by DanceTabs)

The new ballet, Strapless was fabulously decadent, beautiful costumes and shallow people depicting a world of self-indulgence and conceit 🙂


Natalia Osipova in Strapless as Virginie Amélie Gautreau, first celebrity adored by society and then shunned because she dared appear in a painting … strapless (one strap fallen off).

 She was beautifully frivolous and ultimately so vulnerable, great portrayal.I have to share with you the scene which was part of the painting process: the painter John Singer Sargent, searching for inspiration, imagines the presence of his lover and muse, Albert de Belleroche:


Matthew Ball as Albert on the left and the intense painter, Ed Watson on the right 🙂 Photo by DanceTabs

 If you click through the gallery in the link above the last photo is of Sarah Lamb and Steve McRae frolicking sprightly in the woods. Within the Golden Hour, the last of the 3 ballets last night had a deep sense of connection with nature which was a great ending.


It has been a full on week, but it ends beautifully with a night at the ballet. A celebration marked by 3 pieces of one of my favourite contemporary choreographers, Christoper Wheeldon. The music of the pieces is perfect and all my favourite dancers of the Royal Ballet will be on stage tonight. I feel incredibly lucky and am very much looking forward to this! So i wanted to share with you a few videos of the ballets i will see tonight, via news article from the ROH which talks about the works, enjoy!

After the Rain / Strapless /Within the Golden Hour

Our quick introduction to The Royal Ballet’s mixed programme celebrating choreographer Christopher Wheeldon.

A Celebration

Christopher Wheeldon, Artistic Associate of The Royal Ballet, is a familiar figure to Covent Garden audiences – but this is the first time the Company has presented an all-Wheeldon mixed programme. It offers an opportunity to see just how widely his choreographic talent ranges. Two acclaimed abstract ballets, created for American companies, bookend a new narrative commission from The Royal Ballet, bringing together different sides of Wheeldon’s career.

Music and Dance

For the three ballets in this programme Wheeldon has used the music of three very different contemporary composers. The beautiful simplicity of Arvo Pärt comes first, a haunting setting for Wheeldon’s After the Rain. Italian minimalist composer Ezio Bossoprovides the score for Within the Golden Hour, incorporating music by Vivaldi. And in-between comes a dynamic new score from Mark-Anthony Turnage, specially written forStrapless. Turnage has previously collaborated with Wheeldon on ‘Trespass’ (Metamorphosis: Titian 2012), co-choreographed with Alastair Marriott.

After the Rain

Wheeldon created After the Rain in 2005 for New York City Ballet. This abstract ballet for three couples has become most widely known for its deeply affecting pas de deux, set to Pärt’s profoundly moving Spiegel im Spiegel. The pas de deux has often been performed on its own, including by The Royal Ballet in a 2012 gala performance, and was famously captured on film with NYCB principals Maria Kowroski and Ask la Courdancing at dawn on the roof of a skyscraper on the World Trade Center site. This is the first time the work has come to the Royal Opera House in its entirety.


For this new narrative ballet Wheeldon has drawn inspiration from an arresting portrait byJohn Singer Sargent – one that, in its time, was the source of much controversy. Sargent’s 1884 portrait of Amélie Gautreau – titled Madame X – was intended to strengthen her position as one of Paris’s most celebrated society beauties. But, thanks in large part to the painted detail of a strap slipping scandalously from her shoulder, the work tarnished Amélie’s reputation forever. Inspired by Deborah Davis’s book Strapless, Wheeldon takes us inside the glamorous beau monde of Amélie and Sargent, and explores the ever fickle nature of celebrity.

Within the Golden Hour

Within the Golden Hour was created in 2008 for San Francisco Ballet, to mark the company’s 75th anniversary. Wheeldon choreographed the work for 14 dancers, and includes much of his characteristically inventive handling of ensembles. Three centralpas de deux lead to a finale in which the whole cast comes together in a single, shimmering formation.

After the Rain / Strapless / Within the Golden Hour runs 12 February–11 March 2016.

Original article by PAUL KILBEY Ccontent producer- ballet Royal Opera House


20 thoughts on “Ballet – Christopher Wheeldon celebration

  1. Fascinating. Thanks for bringing ballet to my attention, Hari. I never really look into it myself, but I am missing something. Unfortunately Dublin has neither opera nor ballet, so I never get to see/hear such things.
    Loved the after the rain piece – I just cannot imagine how the dancers remember all the steps and movements and coordinate it to be so in tune with each other. Beautiful. And the story of Strapless sounds fascinating. I have watched some Watson clips (upon your recommendation) before, and his dancing is so energetic, he really came across as a real character, not just an empty vessel for the realisation of music in dance. This will be a fabulous performance. Enjoy!

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    • Oh Ed is something else! I really do worship him 🙂 I would describe him more as an actor-dancer. He’s the one who put meaning back in ballet for me as i’d lost interest in the very traditional twirly stuff. Next time we get together we’ll watch his dance in the Winter’s Tale or the drugged up/mad/depressed prince Rudolf in Mayerling! He’s changed the meaning and possibilities in ballet not only at ROH but beyond.
      Actually we need to keep an eye out if you do get a business trip in the next month or so as they are repeating the Winter’s Tale on stage soon and we might be able to catch him live 🙂


      • Definitely up for seeing Watson live on stage! I’d like to be proven wrong in my (prejudiced and uninformed) opinion that ballet is tedious.
        No news of next business trip yet. I’m really missing it at this stage. Hopefully, as soon as my boss returns from Oz, another trip will be planned…

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    • speaking of which! 18 May the Frankenstein one is a new ballet and it will be in the cinemas so very likely in a Dublin cinema too!
      And YESS i’ve just had a look and as i hoped Steve McRae is dancing the creature. Liam Scarlet is the other of my favourite contemporary choreographers here, i love his earthy, gutsy work.
      And look there are cinema’s in Dublin showing it
      Tess might like it too 🙂

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  2. Oh, das ist faszinierend schön!
    Mein Mann und ich tasten uns ganz langsam an das Ballett heran und bisher haben wir noch keine schlechten Erfahrungen gemacht. Ich muss ihm das hier mal zeigen.
    Hoffentlich hast du einen wunderbaren Abend.

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  3. The dance on the rooftop at the WTC site was just gorgeous, and also managed to bring a tear to my eye at the ending as the camera panned away… the WTC is such an emotional topic, and I LOVE when dance choreography can elicit emotions and tell a story. And that ensemble in the last video was also just a delight to the eyes… very jealous of you that you’ll get to experience these in person! Hope it’s wonderful!

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    • oh it was so heartwarming… i have to say the actual dancing was even more beautiful than in the video, the pas de deux between the two is longer and is something very fluid, romantic, or rather intimate… it literally took our breath away, you could hear a pin drop! But i find the video version touching for all the reasons you mention. NY, like London is such a big and exciting city but also with so many scars, it is special to give a moment of peace and beauty back from a rooftop… it reminds us that in spite of scars the city lives on through its people and the heart keeps beating 🙂

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