Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan
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“If I don’t dance, I’d rather die.”
That’s a rather melodramatic utterance, especially from a ballerina past the age when most retire. When Wendy Whelan, who has been called “America’s greatest contemporary ballerina,” says it in the documentary “Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan,” she undercuts the sentiment, acknowledging how ridiculous she might sound.
Still, she means it. Dance is her life. And her disarming combination of humility and honesty, making light of heavy emotions without concealing their true weight, has much to do with how this affecting film portrait can sneak up on you.
Directed by Linda Saffire and Adam Schlesinger, “Restless Creature” captures Ms. Whelan in 2013 at 46, as she’s struggling to recover from a potentially career-ending injury and facing pressure to give her final bows at New York City Ballet after nearly 30 years there. Following her as she begins to reinvent herself as a dancer outside of ballet, the film is both a comeback story and, more profoundly, a coming to terms with aging.
Documentary on the great American Ballerina Wendy Whelan ….. inside the world of dance, and a peek into the life of one of the art’s greatest exponents. It’s also a story of grace, determination, and courage. Recommended. RESTLESS CREATURE: WENDY WHELAN offers an intimate portrait of prima ballerina Wendy Whelan as she prepares to leave New York …