Christopher Wheeldon is the Tony-winning choreographer behind the must-see show on Broadway, An American in Paris. The musical is based on the Oscar-winning musical film starring the legendary Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron. (It won six Oscars including Best Picture in 1951). Wheeldon, as choreographer and director, is being applauded for “introducing new audiences to classical ballet” by making it “sensual, athletic and edgy.” Some would say that’s what ballet always has been (and the film is famous for its 17-minute ballet dance finale) but during an interview with 60 Minutes’ Lesley Stahl, Wheeldon says “An American in Paris” has been a turning point. Audiences agree.
Wheeldon told Stahl: “It is possible for ballet to be young, sexy, dynamic, exciting…to tell complex stories, not just stories about sleeping princesses but to take audiences on breathtaking journeys.” 60 Minutes airs Sundays at 7pm on CBS.