Photo by Erin Baiano
For her inaugural independent project, Restless Creature, Wendy chose four young choreographers — Kyle Abraham, Joshua Beamish, Bryan Brooks, and Alejandro Cerrudo — each of whom created a duet for himself and Wendy. All four are presented on a single program that shows Wendy’s incredible range and uncanny ability to absorb and communicate challenging choreographic languages.
Restless Creature premiered at Jacob’s Pillow in Massachusetts in August 2013 and will be performed in 2014 and 2015.
Photo by Christopher Duggan
“There are very few dancers in the world that evoke passion and ease with the slightest movement. For me, working with Wendy is more about creating an interesting challenge with an astute artist. Inspired by both the grandeur of ballet costuming and the laissez-faire of the postmodern dance T-shirt and sweatpants, my work with Wendy will bean exploration of just that, all that lies between”
A 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, Kyle was named the New York Live Arts Resident Commissioned Artist for 2012-2014. Just one month later, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater premiered Another Night at New York’s City Center to rave reviews. That same year, Kyle was named the 2012 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award recipient and 2012 USA Ford Fellow. Kyle 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, and he received a Jerome Travel and Study Grant in 2008. In 2011, OUT Magazine labeled Kyle as the “best and brightest creative talent to emerge in New York City in the age of Obama.”
“In the time that I’ve worked with Wendy, she has revealed herself a woman of extraordinary humility and grace. She works tirelessly to challenge the boundaries of her artistic identity and defies all perceptions of the limitations placed on dancers. To the world, she is an icon, and yet she carries no pretense or sense of entitlement. She’s never finished with learning and when in her presence I feel fortunate to absorb some of that thirst.”
Joshua Beamish founded MOVE: the company in 2005 and his works have since toured throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Outside of the company, he has created in collaboration with The Royal Ballet, Cirque du Soleil, NYCB Principal Ashley Bouder for The Ashley Bouder Project, The National Ballet of Canada’s YOUdance, Compania Nacional de Danza de Mexico, Cape Dance Company/South Africa, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Toronto Dance Theatre and Kansas City’s Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance, among others. He also choreographed for the CBC Radio Canada series Ils Dansent and the Cultural Olympiads for both the 2010 and 2012 Olympics.
Joshua is the recipient of residencies throughout North America, including Jacob’s Pillow and the National Incubator Artist for the American Dance Institute in Washington, DC. He is an alumni of the NY Choreographic Institute, an affiliate organization of New York City Ballet, and a Jerome Robbins Foundation grantee. Notable recent presentations include The Royal Opera House, the Guggenheim and a 24-dancer evening for MOVE: the company commissioned by the Bangkok International Festival to celebrate 50 years of Canadian and Thai political relations. Joshua is a current member of The Joyce Theatre’s Young Leader’s Circle Committee.
“I think Wendy and I might share a deep love for rigor. For endurance. For a good challenge. To float above the floor, defying gravity, all the while being tethered and bound by a pointe shoe, is to truly master grace, strength and perseverance. The ease with which Wendy brings beauty to struggle is astonishing. I’m forever compelled by her effortless effort, an impossible truth she continuously articulates.”
horeographer BRIAN BROOKS was awarded with a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship. In the same year, he was also a proud recipient of the NY City Center Fellowship, the Jerome Robbins New Essential Works grant, and the Joyce Theater’s Artist Residency.
Based in New York City, 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. 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, he has created new dances at schools including The Juilliard School and The Boston Conservatory. He has served as part time faculty at both Rutgers University and Princeton University, and was a Teaching Artist at the Lincoln Center Institute from 1999 to 2012. Originally from Hingham, MA, Brooks lives in New York City.
“The fact of working with Wendy on a project like this will definitely open up and refresh the approach that I take during my process. As contemporary choreographer and searcher for the ‘new,’ I am eager to explore all the new possibilities that working with such a top artist like Wendy Whelan brings with it and, of course, the final art work. To me, the potential of creating something very special and unique through this project is endless: new feels, new ways, a new choreographer-to-dancer relationship in the studio and ultimately a new dance vocabulary.”
Born in Madrid, Alejandro Cerrudo received his training at the Real Conservatorio Professional de Danza de Madrid. After becoming a professional dancer in 1998 Alejandro has built a dance career shaped by companies such as Victor Ullate Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater 2, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. In 2008 Alejandro was named Hubbard Street Choreographic Fellow and became the company’s first Resident Choreographer in 2009. He has created several works for Hubbard Street, including collaborations with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Nederlands Dans Theater. Alejandro’s works are performed by dance companies worldwide.
Hubbard Street Dance
David Michalek is an artist who takes portraiture as the starting point for the creation of his works in a range of mediums. While earning a B.A in English Literature from U.C.L.A., David worked as an assistant to noted photographer Herb Ritts. In the mid-1990s, he began his professional photographic career working as a portrait artist for various publications, such as The New Yorker, Interview, and Vogue. At the same time, David began to delve into performance, installation, and multi-disciplinary projects. His work has been shown at institutions such as the Brooklyn Museum, the Los Angeles Music Center, Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Opera Bastille, Venice Biennale, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. David lives in New York with his wife, Wendy Whelan.
Joe Levasseur has collaborated with many dance artists including John Jasperse, RoseAnne Spradlin, Sarah Michelson, David Dorfman, Jodi Melnick, Beth Gill, Maria Hassabi, Ishmael Houston-Jones, LeeSaar the Company, Anna Sperber, Megan Sprenger, and Christopher Williams. He has received two Bessie awards for his design work, and in 2009 his Drop Clock Installation was featured in the lobby of Dance Theater Workshop (now New York Live Arts). In 2010 he showed a collection of original paintings at Performance Space 122.
Karen Young has designed costumes for numerous dance and video art projects and has recently been teaching at Rhode Island School of Design. Costume design for video art include Eve Sussman’s 89 Seconds at Alcazar and The Rape of the Sabine Women, Matthew Barney’s Cremaster 5, Toni Dove’s Lucid Possession, and David Michalek’s Slow Dancing and Portraits in Dramatic Time. Recent design for performance includes projects with the Martha Graham Dance Company, American Ballet Theater, Keigwin + Co., Armitage Gone Dance, and Morphoses.
Davison Scandrett served as Director of Production for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company from 2008 until the Company’s closure in 2012. Other production management credits include dances by Sarah Michelson, Miguel Gutierrez, Rashaun Mitchell, Joanna Haigood, Silas Riener, Jennifer Monson, and Pam Tanowitz, as well as extensive experience in commercial touring and event production. Davison is a Bessie Award–winning lighting designer who recently designed Veal for Harrison Atelier and Un Jour ou Deux for Paris Opera Ballet.