A Wheeldon Nutcracker for the Joffrey

February 17, 2015
The New York Times
Roslyn Sulcas

Content

Christopher Wheeldon will create a new “Nutcracker” in December 2016 for Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet, the company announced on Tuesday. The new production will mark the end of a Chicago tradition; Robert Joffrey, who founded the Joffrey Ballet with Gerald Arpino, choreographed “The Nutcracker” for the company in 1987, and it has been performed each December since the company moved to Chicago from New York in 1995.

In an email message, Mr. Wheeldon said he intended to set the ballet “in and around” the World’s Fair: Columbian Exposition, a fair held in Chicago in 1893 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in America. Mr. Wheeldon, who has won critical plaudits for several full-length story ballets, including his recent “The Winter’s Tale” for the Royal Ballet, will use the Tchaikovsky score for his “Nutcracker,” but has not yet, he said, planned much more than the ballet’s setting.

Perhaps he has a few other things on his mind. The musical, “An American in Paris, “ which he has directed and choreographed, arrives March 13 on Broadway.