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Video: Wendy Whelan

Life at New York City Ballet After Balanchine

Season 1 : Episode 14 | 12:41

Wendy Whelan shares her beginnings in ballet, life at New York City Ballet after Balanchine, and the challenges of a classical background in working with a diverse range of choreographers.

Post by Drew Jacoby

Drew Jacoby, contemporary ballerina, has worked with Alonzo King, Complexions, Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company, Sylvie Guillem, Desmond Richardson, Lightfoot Leon, Mia Michaels, Dutch National Ballet, Lar Lubovitch, and Christopher Wheeldon. She is the founder of DancePulp. She joined Nederlands Dans Theater 1 in August 2012.

Comments (9)

  1. Carla Korbes July 10, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Thank you so much for this video. It is so nice to have a longer video of Wendy sharing some of her thoughts and life experiences. Often we get only 50 seconds videos, so this is very refreshing and much appreciated!
    Good luck with the site and looking forward for more videos and articles!

    • Drew Jacoby July 12, 2010 at 3:45 pm

      Hi Carla!

      You’re welcome. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for your kind words. They mean a lot to me.

      We’re excited to share what we have. There’s a lot more to come!!

  2. Alison Kravenko September 9, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Extremely insightful and educational video. I have recommended this site to my ballet students. They are thankful for the intrigue! Alison Kravenko; Artistic Director Kravenko Youth Ballet

  3. Drew Jacoby September 9, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Thank you, Alison. I’m so glad you are receiving insight from our content. Thank you for spreading the word to your young students. I hope they are learning a lot and enjoying the videos. All the best!

  4. Mark Panzarino September 30, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Truly great interview, but I’m little tired of “life at NYCB after Balanchine”.

    Mr. B passed away 27 1/2 years ago. We KNOW what life’s been like at NYCB after Mr. B.

  5. Drew Jacoby October 1, 2010 at 3:26 am


    Thanks for your comment. Wendy joined right after Mr. B died, so the interview tried to get an insider’s view on how things changed and what it was like to be in the company at that time. More from the inside perspective of how the company ran, not so much what we see on stage. Maybe we should’ve titled it differently….anyway, glad you enjoyed the interview! Wendy is an amazing woman!

    • Mark Panzarino October 1, 2010 at 11:37 am

      Hi Drew,

      The interview was definitely worthwhile to watch.

      I didn’t mean to so assertively criticize the title or the subject matter, I was making a generalization…there seems to be an (understandable) pervasive focus on the changes at NYCB since Mr. B’s passing in the dance world. And almost two whole generations of new students have entered the field since that time.

      I’d like to hear more about the future of NYCB, about their vision of tomorrow. This vision seems less clear than it ever possibly did…and one might hope that after close to 30 years, this sight would become more clear, not less so. The loss of Wheeldon was a great blow to such vision, as was that of Ratmansky.

      Anyway, thank you for taking the time to respond, and for this interview with a wonderful dancer!


      • Drew Jacoby October 1, 2010 at 1:34 pm

        I totally see where you are coming from! I would love to sit down and interview Peter Martins! I think they are going through some changes now in defining themselves and their identity. It seems they have a split audience base to appeal to…the longtime fans: the older crowd who may not want to see change…and the young generation of people hungry for intelligent new art. It was interesting to see the new ballets last season and how they tried integrating the new in with the standard rep…such a wide range of opinions about the new choreographers.I found it refreshing. You’ll see more interviews from NYCB dancers…and I think you’ll be interested to see Merrill Ashley give her perspective on the company’s future. Stay tuned, and thanks for watching!


  6. Elaine Davenport April 30, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    Hi Drew,

    This was a nice interview. I enjoyed Wendy’s perspective on choreographers very much. I would love to see a video interview of you and Rubinald Pronk
    either together or separately. I saw a clip of you both on Youtube the other day and thought you were awesome!


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