Wendy Whelan / Brian Brooks / Brooklyn Rider in
Some of a Thousand Words
A Joyce Theater Production
Choreographer Brian Brooks is beloved for his “kinetic thrill and visual power” (The Washington Post), while former New York City Ballet star and principal dancer Wendy Whelan is “riveting, interesting, unusual, intelligent” (The New York Times). LJMS audiences will remember Restless Creature, their winning collaboration in 2015. This Season they return with new solos and duets, full of elegance and electricity, amplified by the remarkable live music of string quartet Brooklyn Rider, hailed as “the future of chamber music” (Strings Magazine).Buy Tickets
Wendy Whelan, Brian Brooks and Brooklyn Rider feature in a new mini-documentary about their collaboration in Some of a Thousand Words.
POSTLUDE – Immediately following the performance Marcus Overton hosts a discussion with Wendy Whelan, Brian Brooks and a member from Brooklyn Rider
Wendy Whelan was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, where at the age of three she began taking dance classes with Virginia Wooton, a local teacher. At age eight she performed as a mouse with the Louisville Ballet in its annual production of The Nutcracker. Joining the Louisville Ballet Academy that year, she began intense professional training. In 1981 she received a scholarship to the summer course at the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet and a year later she moved to New York to become a full-‐time student there. She was invited to become a member of the New York City Ballet corps de ballet in 1986 and was promoted to principal dancer in 1991. Whelan has performed a wide spectrum of the Balanchine repertory and worked closely with Jerome Robbins on many of his ballets. She has originated featured roles in 13 ballets for Christopher Wheeldon, as well as in the ballets of William Forsythe, Alexei Ratmansky, Wayne McGregor, Jorma Elo, Shen Wei, Jerome Robbins and Twyla Tharp. In 2007, Whelan was nominated for an Olivier Award and a Critics Circle Award for her performances with Morphoses/Wheeldon Company. She has been a guest artist with The Royal Ballet and with the Kirov Ballet. She received the 2007 Dance Magazine Award, and in 2009 was given a Doctorate of Arts, honoris causa, from Bellarmine University. In 2011, she was honored with both The Jerome Robbins Award and a Bessie Award for her Sustained Achievement in Performance.
In 2012, Whelan began developing new collaborative projects. Her inaugural project, Restless Creature, which premiered at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in August of 2013, is a suite of four duets, created by and danced with four of todays most cutting edge contemporary dancer/choreographers, Kyle Abraham, Joshua Beamish, Brian Brooks and Alejandro Cerrudo. Restless Creature will travel to London and Vail in 2014 and will tour in the US starting in January 2015. Whelan was recently appointed an Artistic Associate at New York's City Center and for two years beginning November 1, 2014, City Center will be her home for developing future projects. She resides in New York City with her husband, the artist David Michalek.
Wendy Whelan last performed for La Jolla Music Society in the Dance Series on January 30, 2015
For more information visit www.nycballet.com
Choreographer Brian Brooks was awarded with a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship. He is a proud recipient of the NY City Center Fellowship (2012-2013), the Jerome Robbins New Essential Works grant (2013), and the Joyce Theater’s Artist Residency (2013-2014).
His interest in choreography emerged at a young age while growing up in Hingham, MA, and was supported with a scholarship to train at Boston’s Jeannette Neill Dance Studio when he was 17. Since moving to New York City in 1994, he has danced with numerous choreographers, including three years with daredevil Elizabeth Streb.
His dance group, the Brian Brooks Moving Company, has been presented throughout the US, South Korea and in Germany, and was presented by BAM in their 2013 Next Wave Festival. The company will be presented by The Joyce Theater in June 2015. Other NYC presentations have included repeat engagements at Dance Theater Workshop (currently NYLiveArts), a world premiere at the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival, as well as presentations in the Fall for Dance festival at NY City Center and performances in the Works and Process series at the Guggenheim Museum. For three consecutive years, Brooks has been commissioned by Damian Woetzel at the Vail International Dance Festival to create new works featuring dancers from NYC Ballet. Brooks choreographed director Julie Taymor’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2013), which was the inaugural performance at Theatre for a New Audience’s Brooklyn home. As a guest artist, Brooks has created new dances at schools including The Juilliard School, The Boston Conservatory, Skidmore College, Barnard College of Columbia University, Alfred University, and the University of Maryland at College Park. He has served as parttime faculty at both Rutgers University and Princeton University, and was a Teaching Artist at the Lincoln Center Institute from 1999 to 2012.
Brian Brooks last performed for La Jolla Music Society in the Dance Series on January 30, 2015.
Hailed as “the future of chamber music” (Strings), Brooklyn Rider offers eclectic repertoire in gripping performances that continue to attract legions of fans and draw rave reviews from classical, world, and rock critics alike.
Last season, Brooklyn Rider toured with composer/singer/multi-instrumentalist Gabriel Kahane
with music from their 2016 acclaimed collaborative album The Fiction Issue, as well as works
from the groundbreaking multi-disciplinary project Brooklyn Rider Almanac. This season
Brooklyn Rider releases So Many Things with mezzo soprano Anne Sofie von Otter, an album of
contemporary music featuring pieces by Colin Jacobsen, Caroline Shaw, John Adams, Nico Muhly, Björk, Sting, and Elvis Costello, among others. Together they embark on a worldwide tour, including stops at Carnegie Hall and the Opernhaus Zurich.
Continuing to blur the lines of artistic mediums, the group teams up with choreographer Brian
Brooks and former New York City Ballet prima ballerina Wendy Whelan for Some of a Thousand
Words. Using music from composers John Luther Adams, Tyondai Braxton, Philip Glass, and Colin Jacobsen, the intimate series of duets and solos featuring Brooks and Whelan foregrounds the live onstage music of Brooklyn Rider as a dynamic and central creative component.
Other recent recording projects include 2014’s Brooklyn Rider Almanac, 2013’s A Walking Fire
and The Impostor with Béla Fleck, plus 2011’s much-praised Brooklyn Rider Plays Philip Glass on the composer’s Orange Mountain Music label. Violinist Johnny Gandelsman launched In A Circle Records in 2008 with the release of Brooklyn Rider’s eclectic debut recording, Passport, followed by Dominant Curve in 2010, and Seven Steps in 2012. A long-standing relationship between Brooklyn Rider and Iranian kamancheh player Kayhan Kalhor resulted in the critically acclaimed 2008 recording, Silent City.
This performance marks Brooklyn Rider’s La Jolla Music Society debut.