One of my favorites

This is one of my favorite stories from the summer. That might be partly due to the fact that I wrote it in about two hours after jumping through some crazy hoops to get an interview, and my editor liked it.

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado — “That was really good, guys,” Christopher Wheeldon calls as the lights come up after a dance rehearsal Wednesday.

“Can I just have a little more …” Wheeldon’s voice trails off as he bounds down the steps toward the stage in the Vilar Center.

Dressed in cargo shorts, a polo shirt and sneakers, the 35-year-old choreographer looks more like he belongs on the slopes than inside the Vilar Center perfecting a ballet for a performance.

But don’t let the look deceive you; Wheeldon’s new company, Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company, premiered last year with a critically acclaimed inaugural season, and is back in Vail to kick off its second season.

Damian Woetzel, Vail International Dance Festival artistic director and former principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, is looking forward to their second season.

“We’re calling it Morphoses 2.0,” Woetzel said. “I went to all the shows in New York. It was just wildly popular and is moving forward tremendously.”

Local resident Joanne Morgan, who taught ballet in the valley for 28 years, saw the Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company premiere last year and is looking forward to Friday’s performance.

“I’m so happy that they are coming back — I was afraid last year would be a one-shot deal,” she said. “I love it that they’re coming back, because they’re incredible.”

As part of his residency, Wheeldon participated for the second time this year in an UpClose event designed to give the audience a better idea of what happens behind the scenes before and during a ballet performance.

Wheeldon and three other choreographers’ works were performed, then the choreographers spent time on stage answering questions from the audience about the process of creating a dance.

Read the rest here.


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