The last decade of Christopher Wheeldon’s career has gone by in a blur. The global nature of the ballet world means that he is constantly on the move, finishing one project even as another is taking shape somewhere else, demanding his attention. When the pandemic hit, he had two enormous projects on the way, a new evening-length ballet for the Royal Ballet in London, and a musical headed to Broadway. Both are now on hold until theaters open again. But he hasn’t been idle. In 2020, he took on several projects, most of them far less formal or elaborate than the sorts of productions he is normally involved in. There was a “Boléro,” made and rehearsed via Zoom with the dancers and musicians of the Royal Ballet, in June. (“It was a bit of a logistical nightmare,” he says of assembling all the film.) Then in August, he contributed to a dance film made by Benjamin Millepied for the San Francisco Ballet. His first time back in the studio happened around that time: a new duet for Sara Mearns and David Hallberg, close friends who had never had the chance to dance together. Hallberg was about to leave to take the reins at the Australian Ballet, where he is now. Mearns had some time on her hands. The moment, a respite from their usual hectic life, proved somehow magical. The result, “The Two of Us,” is a little jewel, a treasured memento from a difficult year.
Sara Mearns and David Hallberg in “The Two of Us” by Christopher Wheeldon. Photograph by Christopher Duggan
The son of a painter and a set designer, director/choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot was, it seems, destined to have a life in the theater. Born and raised in Tours, in central France, in 1960, he studied dance and piano at the Conservatoire Nacional de Région de Tours before joining the Rosella Hightower International School of Dance in Cannes.Continue Reading
One would think that a dance inspired by the events of the January 6 insurrection—yes, a dance!—would not be the ideal stuff of theater, but the eight members of Laurie Sefton Creates (formerly Clairobscur Dance Company), succeeded in giving life to Sefton’s premiere “Herd. Person?”, while the dance, itself, was occasionally problematic.Continue Reading