The Company

The American

In 1893 Czech composer Antonin Dvorak spent the summer in Spillville, Iowa, where he wrote among other pieces “The American” String Quartet.  America had an important influence on Dvorak’s music, and this loveliest of quartets was written as a reflection of the idyllic time he spent in Spillville. Whilst creating his work for Carolina Ballet, it struck Wheeldon how Dvorak has so vividly captured the essence of wide open space, perhaps again reflecting the open plains of America’s countryside.  Dvorak was said to have remarked about another work inspired by America, “The New World Symphony,” “Well, the influence of America must be felt by everyone who has any nose at all.”  Wheeldon moved to New York in 1993 and was immediately struck by these very same influences, saying,  “As I travel around the country staging ballets, I become more and more aware of the grandeur and majesty of this great country.”