December 2, 2009


Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company was founded in 2007 by ballet celebrities Christopher Wheeldon and Lourdes Lopez. The company, based in New York City and London, has revolutionized the ballet world with innovative and contemporary choreography, costumes, music, set design, and programming to attract a wider audience. Christopher is the company's Artistic Director and one of ballet's most respected choreographers. He has created ballets for renowned companies including the Royal Ballet, the Bolshoi Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, and, most notably, the New York City Ballet, where he served as resident Choreographer from 2001 to 2008. Born in Somerset, England, he danced with both the Royal Ballet and the New York City Ballet before retiring as a dancer to pursue choreography in 2000. Lourdes, the company's Executive Director, is a former New York City Ballet principal dancer, and served as the Executive Director of The George Balanchine Foundation. Born in Havana, she is also a founder of the Cuban Artists Fund, a company that supports Cuban and Cuban-American artists.

Whether choreographing for the New York City Ballet or tangoing at a wedding, Christopher and Lourdes live for the freedom and expression of dance--after all, "Dancing is just discovery, discovery, discovery."

Why "Morphoses"?
Christopher: Because it suggests change and growth.
Lourdes: One of Christopher's first ballets is called Morphoses, and it's by his favorite composer, Ligeti. But more than that, we wanted a name that evoked constant change. In other words, we are able to adapt to changes and make them as well.

What is the Morphoses vision?
Christopher: To bring new audiences to ballet using film and insight into process, along with inspired programming. To make it a more vital and accessible experience.
Lourdes: We want to broaden the scope of classical ballet by emphasizing innovation and fostering creativity through collaboration. We want to bring back the dancer into the creative process and empower the artist. We want to show a younger generation that these dancers are young, smart, talented, creative, funny, and cool, and that ballet can be an important and relevant part in a young person’s life.
Do you have a goal for the company?
Lourdes: To have 20 dancers full-time, and to have a younger generation in our audience!
Best part about your job?
Christopher: The pride I feel of the dancers when we finally get the works to the stage and they get to do what they do so well. 
Lourdes: When I am in the theater watching from backstage and I know that I helped put the performance in place. Then I hear the applause, and I know that through my efforts I have touched some people.
Christopher: The worry about finances and whether we can achieve long term goals.
Describe a dancer in 1-2 words.
Christopher: Visual imagination. Living sculpture.
Lourdes: A creature.
Describe yourself as a dancer. 
Christopher: Dancing was pure expression for me.
Lourdes: Blessed.

What is your favorite dance to dance?
Christopher: I loved dancing the role of the middle sailor in Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free.
Lourdes: My own dance to music that I like.
Where is your favorite place to dance?
Christopher: On the stage of the New York State Theater.
Lourdes: At a wedding or a party.

Do you read your critical reviews?
Christopher: Yes, I read reviews. But I am going to stop. The good ones no longer elate me, and the bad ones are just simply bad.
Lourdes: Unfortunately, yes. But I skim them. Mr. Balanchine once told me: “If you believe the good need to believe the bad best not to believe at all!”

Do you like to tango?
Christopher: I love to watch Tango. I’d love to learn Flamenco.
Lourdes: Yes, but only with a very, very sexy and good dancer that can lead me...I tend to take over!
Favorite performance venue in NYC?
Christopher: The Brooklyn Academy Of Music.
Lourdes: The Harvey Theatre at BAM.



  2. Im doing a project on you but I have a question what was your education like?