The New York Film Critics Series screened Restless Creature as part of the Spring Series. This wonderful documentary follows Wendy Whelan as she faces a major change in her career and life. Wendy joined the New York City Ballet in 1984 and became its principal dancer in 1991.
Things began to change for her after she began experiencing pain in her right hip. Due to the severity of the pain she decided to have surgery.
The documentary followed her journey prior to surgery and how life changed for her after. The film also shows a scene of her in surgery.
After surgery she shows the struggle of not dancing and taking small steps to get back to class. After she gets the ok to go back to class, she begins to push herself and begins feeling the pain again. She decides she wants to tour in her own show called Restless Creature. Unfortunately due to the pain she decides to cancel the tour in order to recover and put all of her heart into going back to the New York City Ballet.
After many conversations and considerations she decides to retire from the New York City Ballet after 30 years. One important factor to her is that she retires doing a dance for the first time. She has the opportunity to have a special farewell dance having two choreographers choreograph a special dance for her final night.
Following the film there was a Q&A with the filmmakers Adam Schlesinger and Linda Saffire hosted by Matt Singer.
Wendy Whelan became the subject of the film when Adam Schlesinger was told, “You should meet her she’s terrific”. He then approached Linda Saffire to say that there was a ballerina that he wanted to speak to her about and immediately she asked if it was Wendy. She was thrilled to have this opportunity after seeing her at the ballet she was in awe.
They filmed her for a year and a half. She never showed them she was in pain when they found out she was having surgery. They had a great filming experience with her and really enjoyed how the film came out.