About Wayne McGregor CBE
Wayne McGregor is one of the most iconic choreographers for how he uses the body. He’s dubbed as an “experimenter” by The New York Times, and this coupled with other quotes about McGregor really highlights the scientific elements of his works. Wayne McGregor has a dance career with a long history, starting with roots in ballroom dance, but despite this longstanding experience he still remains curious, testing and pushing the boundaries of the body’s capabilities to explore, probe and portray. McGregor takes a multi-dimensional approach to choreography, inventing new ways of thinking through dance and the body and thus creating the concept of “physical thinking”. Choreographing is viewed as a collaborative process by McGregor, using “kinesthetic thinking” as he calls it to create shared and expressive moments of dance. For McGregor, the choreographic process begins with a stimulus or idea that’s transferred from one body using memory (usually his) to another through copying and adapting of movements.
Wayne McGregor established Random Dance company in 1992, which has morphed into what we now know as Studio Wayne McGregor. He's also impressively the Professor of Choreography at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and has been the Resident Choreographer at The Royal Ballet since 2006.
Wayne McGregor's Choreographic Process
When we spoke with Company Wayne McGregor, they really encouraged us to watch videos of McGregor at work doing live choreography. The way McGregor uses his body with such fluidity and speed is really mesmerising. Skip to 4.40 to see McGregor in motion for yourself.
Now watch Wayne McGregor in a different light rehearsing with The Royal Ballet. Look at how little nuances in the way he changes and introduces small movements really change the meaning of a piece.
We think that Wayne is one of the most important choreographers for how he thinks about choreography in general and its future. Listen to him talk in this Google video about how AI can assist choreography. The machine that Google created is designed to predict body movements and create an algorithm that can actually create movement, and this in fact is exactly how dancers must respond to McGregor as a choreographer: watching his movements and predicting what may come next so they can interpret and generate their own movement. The tool records movement and can then create motion to invent a short routine. So who says robots can’t dance?
Did you Know?
Fun fact about Wayne McGregor: He was Movement Director for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) and The Legend of Tarzan (2016) and was also Movement Coach for both Fantastic films. We just love that his perception and skill for how to control the body is being recognised by other industries.
It depends if top works conjures images of awards for you (which Wayne McGregor is definitely a champion of), but for us it’s not just about public favour. Some of Wayne’s top choreographed pieces are thought of as:
Our top pieces are determined by which choreography is our favourite:
- Tree of Codes
- Future Self for its use of light
What are your favourites?
Thank you to Company Wayne McGregor for providing the captivating image of the eponymously named choreographer, shot by Pål Hansen. All rights and copyright remain the property of the photographer.