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.
This performance marks Wendy Whelan's La Jolla Music Society debut.
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2013 MacArthur Fellow, Kyle Abraham, began his dance training at the Civic Light Opera Academy and the Creative and Performing Arts High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He continued his dance studies in New York, receiving a BFA from SUNY Purchase and an MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. In November 2012, Abraham was named the newly appointed New York Live Arts Resident Commissioned Artist for 2012-2014. Just one month later, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater premiered Abraham’s newest work, Another Night at New York’s City Center to rave reviews. That same year, Abraham was named the 2012 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award recipient and 2012 USA Ford Fellow.
Abraham received a prestigious Bessie Award for Outstanding Performance in Dance for his work in The Radio Show, and a Princess Grace Award for Choreography in 2010. The previous year, he was selected as one of Dance Magazine’s 25 To Watch for 2009, and received a Jerome Travel and Study Grant in 2008. His choreography has been presented throughout the United States and abroad, most recently at On The Boards, South MiamiDade Cultural Arts Center, REDCAT, Philly Live Arts, Portland’s Time Based Arts Festival, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Danspace Project, Dance Theater Workshop, Bates Dance Festival, Harlem Stage, Fall for Dance Festival at New York's City Center, Montreal, Germany, Jordan, Ecuador, Dublin’s Project Arts Center, The Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum located in Okinawa Japan, The Andy Warhol Museum and The KellyStrayhorn Theater in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.
In addition to performing and developing new works for his company, Abraham.In.Motion, Abraham recently premiered The Serpent and The Smoke, a new pas de deux for himself and acclaimed Bessie Award winning dancer and New York City Principle, Wendy Whelan as part of Restless Creature at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. In 2011, OUT Magazine labeled Abraham as the “best and brightest creative talent to emerge in New York City in the age of Obama.”
Kyle would like to extend his special thanks to Denis Robert Hurlin and Ellen Denise, Rena Butler, Chalvar Monteiro, Rachelle Rafailedes, Risa Steinberg, and Alexandra Wells for their assistance and feedback.
This performance marks Kyle Abraham's La Jolla Music Society debut.
Joshua Beamish is the current and founding Artistic Director of MOVE: the company, a contemporary dance company based between Vancouver, Canada and New York. In recent years, Beamish has collaborated with the School of American Ballet and the New York Choreographic Institute, Cirque du Soleil, Toronto Dance Theatre, the National Ballet of Canada's YOUdance, Santa Barbara Dance Theatre, Compania Nacional de Danza de Mexico, Cape Dance Company/South Africa and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, among others. His works have toured the globe, notably to Jacob's Pillow, the Bangkok International Festival/Opera House, Seattle's Chop Shop, the American Dance Institute in DC, the 2012 London Cultural Olympiad's World Event Young Artist, Artists in Action: Mumbai and WORLD EXPO Shanghai.
Joshua was also a choreographer on the CBC Radio Canada reality series Ils Dansent. Other selected film and TV credits include ABC's Life As We Know It, Nickelodeon's Spectacular & Jinxed, Neil LaBute's The Wicker Man, VH1's Totally Awesome, The CW’s HELLCATS and New Line's Code Name: The Cleaner. Beamish is the recipient of grant awards from the Jerome Robbins Foundation, the BC Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Vancouver Foundation, the Hamber Foundation, the Koerner Foundation and the City of Vancouver's Mayor's Arts Awards.
Joshua would like to extend his special thanks to Deborah Wingert Arkin, Cathy Eilers, Larry Henry, Ella Baff, Chalvar Monteiro, Pablo Francisco Ruvalcaba Tovar, Erin Fogarty, Kyle Abraham, Risa Steinberg, Cathy Eilers, and Chelsea Beamish.
This performance marks Joshua's Beamish's La Jolla Music Society debut.
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.
This performance marks Brian Brooks' La Jolla Music Society debut.
Alejandro Cerrudo was born in Madrid, Spain and trained at the Real Conservatorio Profesional de Danza de Madrid. His professional career began in 1998 and includes work with Victor Ullate Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater 2. Cerrudo joined Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in 2005, was named Choreographic Fellow in 2008, and became the company’s first Resident Choreographer in 2009. Fifteen works choreographed to date for Hubbard Street include collaborations with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Second City and Nederlands Dans Theater 2. These pieces and additional commissions are in repertory at companies around the U.S. as well as in Australia, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands; touring engagements have brought his work still further abroad, to audiences in Algeria, Canada, Morocco and Spain. In March 2012, Pacific Northwest Ballet invited Cerrudo to choreograph his first work for the company, Memory Glow, upon receiving the Joyce Theater Foundation’s second Rudolf Nureyev Prize for New Dance. Additional honors include an award from the Boomerang Fund for Artists (2011), and a Prince Prize for Commissioning Original Work from the Prince Charitable Trusts (2012) for his acclaimed, first eveninglength work, One Thousand Pieces. Cerrudo was recently announced the 2014 USA Donnelley Fellow by United States Artists.
This performance marks Alejandro Cerrudo's La Jolla Music Society debut.