Ivy Tech to host Wendy Whelan, former principal ballerina of New York City Ballet

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus will host Wendy Whelan, formerly the principal ballerina of the New York City Ballet, for a film screening of her documentary, Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan, on Wednesday, October 25 at 7 p.m. The screening and Q&A with Whelan will be held at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center, located downtown at 122 S. Walnut St. Tickets are on sale at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater box office.

Cassandra Connelly, associate professor of kinesiology at Ivy Tech Bloomington, used to dance with Whelan in their youth and says that she still has photographs of them dancing. “We danced together at our ballet school in Louisville before the New York City Ballet plucked her for their summer program,” she said. “I hope that young dancers and others will come to the screening of Wendy’s documentary and get a chance to talk with her. We’re proud to bring Wendy to Bloomington and want to provide a warm welcome.”

Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan was an official selection of the 2016 New York Film Festival.

According to the production company, 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.

Tickets are $15 for general admission or $5 for students and seniors and can be purchased online at www.bctboxoffice.com.