Ashley Wheater, The Mary B. Galvin Artistic Director of The Joffrey Ballet and a British native, has been appointed a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire ( MBE ) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
The designationamong those announced on The Queen's New Year Honours 2020 listhas been recognized for his exceptional service to the United Kingdom in the field of performing arts.
Wheater joins other talents in the dance world who have received Order of the British Empire designations, including Sir Matthew Bourne ( 2001 ) and Christopher Wheeldon ( 2016 ). Wheeldon's reimagined version of The Nutcracker for The Joffrey Ballet run through Dec. 29 at the Auditorium Theatre.
Wheater graduated from the Royal Ballet School in England and later joined the London Festival Ballet, where he worked closely with the legendary Rudolf Nureyev. In 1982, Wheater joined the Australian Ballet as a principal dancer before moving to the United States in 1985 at the invitation of Gerald Arpino, a co-founder of the Joffrey. After joining The San Francisco Ballet, Wheater returned to the Joffrey as artistic director in 2007.