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Victoria Tennant Photo Credit: David Michalek

Author Victoria Tennant joins Wendy Whelan, a dancer in New York City Ballet for more than 30 years, to discuss her new book Irina Baronova and the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo.

This illustrated history tells the tale of the rise of modern ballet and its popularity through the life story of one of ballet’s most glamorous stars, Irina Baronova. Baronova, Tennant’s mother, was chosen by the great George Ballanchine at the age of thirteen to join the Ballets Russes, where she danced the lead in Swan Lake.

Ballets Russes is widely regarded as the most influential ballet company of the 20th century in part because it promoted ground-breaking artistic collaborations among young choreographers, composers, designers and dancers, all at the forefront of their several fields. George Balanchine got his start as a choreographer for Ballet Russes and would go on to start the New York City Ballet where Wendy Whelan became prima ballerina.

Join Tennant and Whelan, one of the shining stars of modern ballet, for an exclusive discussion on the illustrious history of Ballet Russes, and how its legacy continues today.

There will be a book signing following this event.


Brief Bios

Victoria Tennant played the title role in her first film, The Ragman's Daughter, in 1972, and she has since then gone on to work in film, television, theater and radio, receiving Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. She lives in Los Angeles.

Wendy Whelan was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, where she began dancing at the age of three. In 1981, she received a scholarship to the summer course at the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet, and a year later, became a full-time student there. Ms. Whelan became a member of New York City Ballet's corps de ballet in January 1986. She was promoted to the rank of soloist in 1989, and to the rank of principal dancer in 1991. She has performed as a guest artist with the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden and the Maryinsky Ballet at the Maryinsky Theater and has toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.

In 2012, Wendy began to develop new collaborative projects. Her inaugural project, Restless Creature, premiered at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in 2013 and will tour to to London, Vail, throughout the US starting in the summer of 2014. Wendy’s final performance with New York City Ballet is scheduled for October 18, 2014, but her career continues with a second solo project - a full evening of new works choreographed for Wendy and Edward Watson of The Royal Ballet, scheduled to premiere at the Royal Opera House in London in 2015. In addition, Wendy was recently appointed an artistic associate at New York City Center for two years, starting November 2014

WATCH Wendy Whelan perform in Restless Creature, less than one year prior to her final, breathtaking performance last month.

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