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Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan

Thursday August 17 | 7:55pm
Rosecliff Lawn

Rules & Guidelines

community event

newportFILM Outdoors is presented by
​LILA DELMAN REAL ESTATE INTERNATIONAL

5:55PM - Venue & food vendors open
6:40PM - Live music by Julio Amaro & Vaelrie Mathieu
7:55PM - Film followed by Q&A with film subject Wendy Whelan, moderated by Josh Barone of The New York Times

EVENT DETAILS:
- Free popcorn courtesy of St. Michael's Country Day School
- On-site food vendors: Diego's, Boru Noodle Bar, LemonsAid, Tricycle Ice Cream
- BYO picnic, blankets & chairs
- Bike racks on-site provided by Bike Newport
- Rain Venue: Casino Theatre, 9 Freebody Street, Newport

“It’s a revealing, at times raw, examination of Whelan’s final year with City Ballet.” — W Magazine

“An artist documentary that will play movingly— inspiringly, even— for those who aren't already fans.” — Paste Magazine

“A shocking documentary.” — Film Journal

“Allows us to see her stoic control, her superhuman strength under pressure, and also to see though it — to the self-doubt, the fear of losing her very identity.” — The New York Times

ABOUT THE FILM:
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.

Throughout Linda Saffire and Adam Schlesinger’s riveting documentary, we watch Whelan grapple with questions of her own identity and worth. Historical footage shows her dancing as a very young girl in her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, then as a teenager on her own in New York and, finally, as a rising ballerina with the company. “’If I don’t dance, I’d rather die’—I’ve actually said that,” says Whelan at one point in the film, as she talks about leaving the only environment she knows, and facing what comes next. Whelan’s unflinching honesty, her tireless determination, and her winsome attitude—along with her breathtaking dancing—make RESTLESS CREATURE: WENDY WHELAN not just a fascinating portrait of an artist grappling with change but also a delight to watch.

90 minutes
Director(s): Linda Saffire, Adam Schlesinger
Cast:

Wendy Whelan