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Interview with Wendy Whelan: Speaking of Dancing Oral History Project

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Interview with Wendy Whelan

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Interview with Wendy Whelan: Speaking of Dancing Oral History Project
Whelan, Wendy (Interviewee)
Bass, Anne H. (Funder)
Reynolds, Nancy, 1938- (Interviewer)
Bernadi, François (Videographer)

Speaking of Dancing Oral History Project

Dates / Origin
Date Created: 2011
Library locations
Jerome Robbins Dance Division
Shelf locator: *MGZIDVD 5-7020
Whelan, Wendy
Balanchine, George
Robbins, Jerome
Cook, Bart
Wheeldon, Christopher
Soto, Jock
Ratmanskiĭ, Alekseĭ, 1968-
Martins, Peter, 1946-
New York City Ballet
Ballet dancing
Ballet -- Study and teaching
Venue: Interview with Wendy Whelan conducted by Nancy Reynolds on Oct. 12, 2011 at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts in New York City, as part of the Speaking of Dancing Oral History Project.
Creation/production credits: Video production and post-production, François Bernadi.
Funding: The recording of this interview was made possible by a gift from Anne H. Bass.
Content: A transcript (53 leaves) of this interview is available in the Dance Division. Call number *MGZMT 3-7020
Physical Description
Extent: 2 videocassettes (HDV) (75 min.) : sound, color
Nancy Reynolds conducts an interview with Wendy Whelan, beginning by reading aloud several comments from critics and artists about Whelan's dancing. Whelan speaks about how she began dancing; her early training and teachers in Louisville, Kentucky; her early exposure to Balanchine's choreography and how she came to study at the School of American Ballet and joined New York City Ballet; her qualities as a young dancer and struggles in her early career; Bart Cook's role in teaching her ballets by Balanchine and Jerome Robbins; her attitude toward classical ballet roles, and her career arc. Whelan discusses the usefulness of watching herself on video; her relationship with Jerome Robbins and experiences dancing his ballets; how events in her personal life influenced her development as a dancer; her relationship with Christopher Wheeldon and the roles he choreographed for her; her experiences working with Alexei Ratmansky; her dance partnership with Jock Soto; her experience teaching Wheeldon's Liturgy to New York City Ballet dancers, including Sara Adams; how she studies music for the ballets she performs in; her role in Lynne Taylor-Corbett's ballet The seven deadly sins; her relationship with Peter Martins; her thoughts on New York City Ballet and why she is glad to have spent her career there.
Type of Resource
Moving image
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b19539287
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 197aaae0-f874-0130-eaf7-3c075448cc4b
Rights Statement
This item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Item timeline of events

  • 2011: Created
  • 2013: Digitized
  • 2024: Found by you!
  • 2025

MLA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Interview with Wendy Whelan" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 2011.

Chicago/Turabian Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Interview with Wendy Whelan" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed April 20, 2024.

APA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. (2011). Interview with Wendy Whelan Retrieved from

Wikipedia Citation

<ref name=NYPL>{{cite web | url= | title= (moving image) Interview with Wendy Whelan, (2011)|author=Digital Collections, The New York Public Library |accessdate=April 20, 2024 |publisher=The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations}}</ref>

Interview with Wendy Whelan