Christopher Wheeldon created Within the Golden Hour for San Francisco Ballet in 2008, as part of their New Works Festival in celebration of the company's 75th anniversary. Italian minimalist composer Ezio Bosso created the original score for strings, incorporating music by Vivaldi. It was first performed by The Royal Ballet in 2016.
Within the Golden Hour is structured into sections, accentuated by Martin Pakledinaz's simple designs. The dancers are costumed in muted hues of greens, browns, blues and purples, creating a sense of the bright orange light of the 'golden hour' before the sun sets. Around three central pas de deux, the ballet exhibits Wheeldon's characteristic complex handling of ensembles, in the process creating intricate lattice works that shift and mutate in this reflection on the beauty of movement.
Seven couples dance in shifting groups. They separate for three central pas de deux each highly characterized: light, sensual, confrontational. All the dancers come together for a thrilling ending.