(BECKET, Mass.) – Famed New York City Ballet dancer Wendy Whelan and choreographer Brian Brooks join forces with string quartet Brooklyn Rider in “Some of a Thousand Words,” in the Ted Shawn Theater at Jacob’s Pillow from Wednesday, July 27, through Sunday, July 31. The program is a suite of intimate solos and duets accompanied by a score featuring works by contemporary composers, including Philip Glass and the quartet’s own Colin Jacobsen.
After an initial standalone duet in 2012 at the Vail International Dance Festival, the artistic partnership of Whelan and Brooks came into full flower with the 2013 Jacob’s Pillow co- commission of “Restless Creature” — a series of duets with Whelan and four esteemed choreographers, including Kyle Abraham, Alejandro Cerrudo, Joshua Beamish, and Brian Brooks.
Wendy Whelan studied at the School of American Ballet before being appointed to the corps de ballet of New York City Ballet in 1986 and rising to principal dancer in 1991. Her final performance with the company was on October 18, 2014. Whelan danced a wide spectrum of Balanchine repertory, received a Doctorate of Arts, honoris causa, from Bellarmine University in 2009, won numerous awards, performed as a guest artist with The Royal Ballet and the Kirov Ballet, worked closely with Jerome Robbins, had 13 roles created for her by Christopher Wheeldon, and originated roles by choreographers like William Forsythe, Twyla Tharp, Alexei Ratmansky, Jorma Elo, Shen Wei, and Wayne McGregor.
Critically acclaimed choreographer Brian Brooks was recently appointed as the inaugural choreographer-in-residence at Chicago’s Harris Theater for Music and Dance. This three-year fellowship supports several commissions for Brooks each season, with the first year featuring Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Miami City Ballet, and his New York based dance group, Brian Brooks Moving Company.
Brooklyn Rider features the illustrious talent of four skilled musicians: Johnny Gandelsman on violin, Colin Jacobsen on violin, Nicholas Cords on viola, and Michael Nicolas on cello. Known for the perfect blend of contemporary rhythm and string-quartet charm, Brooklyn Rider celebrated its tenth anniversary last year with a groundbreaking multi-disciplinary project Brooklyn Rider Almanac, in which they toured with 15 specially commissioned works, each inspired by a different artistic muse.