Category On Cue

Ashley Wheater in conversation with Joffrey Rehearsal Director Adam Blyde.

Training and working with the likes of Rudolf Nureyev or Margot Fonteyn would draw the attention of just about anyone. Ashley Wheater, The Mary B. Galvin Artistic Director of The Joffrey Ballet, worked closely with both, much to the envy of peers everywhere.  

Leslie Carothers and Ashley Wheater in Frederick Ashton's 'The Dream'

In a career that spans three decades, Wheater’s extensive resume reads like a who’s who of some of the most legendary names in dance: Nureyev, Fonteyn, Helgi Tomasson, Robert Joffrey—the list goes on. It’s a list that grows with each collaboration, each new opportunity, which has been one of the hallmarks of Wheater’s tenure as Artistic Director of the Joffrey 

The foray into the administrative side of dance was perhaps a bit unceremonious; a reoccurring injury forced Wheater to retire prematurely, though it led to opportunity. After ending his performance career with San Francisco Ballet, Wheater became the associate artistic director of SFB, working closely alongside artistic director Tomasson.

Wheater’s prestige as a coach and collaborator earned him high regard around the world. When Gerald Arpino retired as artistic director of the Joffrey, there was one name at the top of everyone’s list to replace him.

In this episode of On Cue, Wheater looks back on his formative years as a dancer, his journey to the Joffrey, and what he sees for the future.