Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan


Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan (2017)


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RESTLESS CREATURE: WENDY WHELAN offers an intimate portrait of prima ballerina Wendy Whelan as she prepares to leave New York City Ballet after a record-setting three decades with the company. One of the modern era's most acclaimed dancers, Whelan was a principal ballerina for NYCB and, over the course of her celebrated career, danced numerous ballets by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, as well as new works by more modern standout choreographers like Christopher Wheeldon and Alexei Ratmansky; many roles were made specifically for Whelan. As the film opens, Whelan is 46, battling a painful injury that has kept her from the ballet stage, and facing the prospect of her impending retirement from the company. What we see, as we journey with her, is a woman of tremendous strength, resilience and good humor. We watch Whelan brave the surgery that she hopes will enable her comeback to NYCB and we watch her begin to explore the world of contemporary dance, as she steps outside the traditionally patriarchal world of ballet to create Restless Creature, a collection of four contemporary vignettes forged in collaboration with four young choreographers.

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Critic Reviews for Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (9)

The film offers a trove of insights into the world of dance, including many glimpses of famed choreographers and fellow performers, and reveals a performer as remarkable for her warmth and candor as for her singular artistry.

Jul 27, 2017 | Full Review…

"Restless Creature" isn't a mere celebration of a great artist; it's a moving portrait of what happens when that artist confronts the possibility of not being able to make that art any more.

Jul 25, 2017 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Seeing Whelan move with grace and elegance across the stage is as much storytelling as you need, but this all access documentary paints a full portrait and explains her importance in the field.

Jun 16, 2017 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

What little dancing we do see is lovely to watch, but it's also lovely to see a performer who once seemed to have an iron grip on the barre finally learn how to be gracious and let go.

Jun 15, 2017 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

An intimate and engaging chronicle of her final months with the New York City Ballet.

Jun 8, 2017 | Full Review…

Compelling and beautifully crafted ...

Jun 8, 2017 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

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