Whelan, Wendy

Whelan, Wendy, 1967–, American ballet dancer, b. Louisville, Ky. A soloist (1989) and principal (1991) with the New York City Ballet (NYCB), the angular, muscled Whelan became known for her roles in such Balanchine classics as Liebeslieder Walzer, the Diamonds section from Jewels, and Symphony in Three Movements, and such Jerome Robbins ballets as The Cage and, in a role created for her, Brandenburg (1997), as well as for her performances in William Forsythe's Herman Schmerman (1992). Later noted roles with the NYCB include those in Christopher Wheeldon's Polyphonia (2001) and After the Rain (2005) and Alexei Ratmansky's Concerto DSCH (2008). In 2012 Whelan began collaborating independently with four contemporary dancer-choreographers, premiering their works and dancing with them at the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival (2013). After retiring from NYCB (2014), she continued her partnership with Brian Brooks, with whom she premiered Some of a Thousand Words (2016) at Jacob's Pillow.

See documentary dir. by L. Saffire and A. Schlesinger.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Dance: Biographies