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234th Season

Wayne McGregor


Wayne McGregor (born 1970) is a British choreographer of contemporary modern dance. His work is highly distinctive in its vocabulary of movement, for its integration of dance with film and visual art, and for his active interest and incorporation of computer technology and biological science. He is the Artistic Director of Wayne McGregor Random Dance, Resident Company at Sadler's Wells Theatre in London; the Resident Choreographer of The Royal Ballet, appointed 2006; and the government’s first Youth Dance Champion, appointed 2008. In 2004 McGregor was a Research Fellow in the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge.

McGregor is a frequent creator of new work for La Scala Theatre Ballet of Milan; Paris Opera Ballet; Nederlands Dans Theatre of La Hague; San Francisco Ballet; Stuttgart Ballet; New York City Ballet; The Australian Ballet of Melbourne; and English National Ballet of London. He served as Movement Director for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

McGregor was born in Stockport, England, in 1970. He studied dance at Bretton Hall College of the University of Leeds and at the Josй Limon School in New York. In 1992 he was appointed Choreographer-in-Residence at The Place, London, and in the same year he founded his own company, Wayne McGregor Random Dance. McGregor evolved what was to become his distinctive choreographic style on Random Dance.

His choreography is an extrapolation of his own movement vocabulary: "[It] had its origins in McGregor’s own long, lean and supple physique and in his body’s ability to register movement with peculiar sharpness and speed; at one extreme McGregor’s dancing was a jangle of tiny fractured angles, at the other it was a whirl of seemingly boneless fluidity."

It was during his major trilogy The Millennarium (1997), Sulphur 16 (1998) and Aeon (2000) that the company became a byword for its radical approach to new technology – incorporating animation, digital film, 3D architecture, electronic sound and virtual dancers into the live choreography. Collaborations with leading multi-disciplinary artists enriched the company’s futurist aesthetic and dramatically enlarged the possibilities of dance. In 2001 it was invited to be the first resident company at the new Sadler’s Wells. McGregor was named one of "25 to Watch" in 2001 by Dance Magazine.

His career to date has also taken him beyond the conventional stage, choreographing for films such as Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, creating site-specific installations for Southbank Centre’s The Hayward, The Saatchi Gallery, the Houses of Parliament and for the Pompidou Centre in Paris. Collaborations with artists outside of the dance field have included composers Sir John Tavener, Scanner, Plaid and Joby Talbot/The White Stripes, animatronics experts, Jim Henson’s Creature Workshop and neuro-scientists and heart-imaging specialists. McGregor was the first to curate, in September 2008, the 3-day long new festival for the Royal Opera House, Deloitte Ignite. This came 18 months after his successful Royal Opera House production Chroma (2006).

McGregor was appointed Resident Choreographer of The Royal Ballet in December 2006, the first since Kenneth Macmillan. His productions for The Royal Ballet include the award-winning Infra (2008), Limen (2009), Live Fire Exercise (2011), Carbon Life (2012) and Machina for Metamorphosis: Titian 2012 (2012). In 2009 he presented a new staging of his La Scala production of the opera Dido and Aeneas, alongside Acis and Galatea (this marked McGregor’s Royal Opera debut). He also directed Sum for The Royal Opera (2012).

Recently McGregor has created Entity (2008), FAR (2010) and UNDANCE (2011) for Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, as well new work for Australian Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, New York City Ballet and Paris Opera Ballet. In 2013 he will create a new work for San Francisco Ballet and a new Rite of Spring for Bolshoi Ballet.

McGregor was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2011 New Year Honours for services to dance.


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