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Wendy Whelan Named Artist-in-Residence at Barnard College

Wendy Whelan in Hagoromo. Photo by David Michalek, courtesy BAM.

 

It's safe to say that Wendy Whelan has not slowed down since retiring from New York City Ballet last year. From her Restless Creature tour, to her recent collaboration with The Royal Ballet's Edward Watson, to her upcoming performance in the Japanese Noh work Hagoromo alongside Jock Soto, she's continued to explore new terrain.

Now through May 2016, she's taking on a different kind of role, as the first Lida Orzeck ‘68 Distinguished Artist-in-Residence at Barnard College in New York City. There, her activities will include teaching six master classes, leading coaching and choreography sessions for students and hosting two events that will be open to the public. The first of these will be held at the college on November 10, when Hagoromo's creative team will discuss the making of the piece. For the students, this is an incredible opportunity to learn from one of today's most celebrated ballerinas. And the excitement is mutual. "I’m very much looking forward to what the year will bring," Whelan said in a press release from the college. Another bold step in her adventurous career.

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Ma Cong in the studio with Tulsa Ballet. Courtesy Tulsa Ballet.

Without him we wouldn't have The Nutcracker, Swan Lake or Sleeping Beauty. But how much do you know about Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky, the man behind classical ballet's most recognizable music? Did you know that the Russian composer hid his homosexuality for much of his life? He also struggled with depression; there's been speculation that his death in 1893 was in fact a suicide.

Tulsa Ballet resident choreographer Ma Cong dramatically recounts his life in a new full-length ballet titled Tchaikovsky: The Man Behind the Music, premiering March 29-31. If you think a story ballet about the most renowned composer of story ballets set to, yes, a Tchaikovsky score, is a bit meta, you wouldn't be wrong. But considering the renewed importance of LGBTQ rights in society, it's a ballet perfectly timed to our era. In Russia, censorship still asserts that Tchaikovsky was not gay. The subject also calls to mind backlash surrounding an LGBTQ-themed work at Louisville Ballet just last month.

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The Royal Ballet's Vadim Muntagirov and Marianela Nuñez in La Bayadère. Photo by Bill Cooper, Courtesy ROH.

Do you ever wish you could teleport to London and casually stroll into The Royal Opera House to see some of the world's best-loved ballets? Well, we have a solution for you: The Royal Ballet's 2018-19 cinema season.

Whether live or recorded, the seven ballet programs listed below, streaming now through next October, will deliver all of the magic that The Royal Ballet has to offer straight to your local movie theater. Can you smell the popcorn already?

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