Exploring your physical potential

“If you have a body, you’re a dancer” - Wayne McGregor, choreographer and movement director, and founder of Studio Wayne McGregor

By Studio Wayne McGregor

Studio Wayne McGregor

Sense residencyStudio Wayne McGregor

Studio Wayne McGregor runs a progressive Learning and Engagement programme, ensuring dance is made accessible for all.

Foundation for FutureLondon Summer School (2015-07-31)Studio Wayne McGregor

To date, over 100,000 people across a variety of ages and ability levels, backgrounds and aspirations have participated in its bespoke programmes. This has been overseen by Director Jasmine Wilson since 1999.

The MAC residency by Wayne McGregor, Company Wayne McGregorStudio Wayne McGregor

These schemes include choreography lessons for school children, pre-vocational training for gifted young dancers, technique-based workshops for accomplished professionals, mobility skills sessions for those with additional needs, community-building efforts in troubled locations, social dances for elder participants, and large-scale public performances both in the UK and abroad.     

Magpie Dance residency (1995-04-06)Studio Wayne McGregor

Education and community outreach have been intrinsic to the organisation’s purview ever since McGregor took up a role as a community dance animateur for east London in the early 90s.   

Big Dance 2012 (2012-07-14) by Wayne McGregorStudio Wayne McGregor

From the outset, McGregor and Wilson’s intention has been to empower everybody to get better acquainted with their own body and how it can move, while connecting with their innate creativity. They aim to share the tenets of choreographic thinking, rather than impart set movements constricted by rules or traditions.       

Telenoia (2000-08-18) by Wayne McGregorStudio Wayne McGregor

The Boys Project at The Place was one of McGregor’s earliest Learning and Engagement initiatives. In 1994, the resultant White Out! featured his company’s dancers performing alongside 60 amateur boys and young men from the local community as well as The Place’s Youth! company. A few years later, the project yielded Telenoia, a site-specific work in Canary Wharf.    

Zero Hertz (1999-06-26) by Wayne McGregorStudio Wayne McGregor

By the mid 90s, McGregor was employing computer generated graphics, digital video and projections in projects such as Neurotransmission (1997) and Zero Hertz (1999), a site-specific youth show situated in Cork, the choreographing of which involved animation software known as Poser.     

The MAC residency by Wayne McGregor, Company Wayne McGregorStudio Wayne McGregor

“Poser was really easy to use, we'd let young people have free rein to create crazy animations then get them to translate them into their bodies. It was great as it had no physical limitations – it could jump way up high, kick its leg round 360 degrees. It impelled people to move.”— Jasmine Wilson. 

Game of Halves (2002-08-01) by Wayne McGregorStudio Wayne McGregor

In 2000, as Artistic Director of National Youth Dance Wales, McGregor presented a seminar on computer imagery, animation and video projection. Two years later, he and Wilson returned to Wales, equipped with Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) telephone lines and projectors so that performers could simultaneously dance Game of Halves via video conferencing.     

CastleScape (2001-07-27) by Wayne McGregorStudio Wayne McGregor

In East London, The Field (2000) featured 32 amateur dancers with Company Wayne McGregor, dancing in front of a 3D screen to live music by Tunde Jegende. The following year, CastleScape took place in a pop-up geodesic dome on the A13-bordering, Goresbrook Estate, with a cast of 70 local residents.        

digit01 (2001-03-20) by Wayne McGregorStudio Wayne McGregor

That same year, an abstract dance piece for 8-12 year olds was crafted, called digit01. Participants interacted with virtual and video-generated images as a means of getting to grips with the concept of the internet. It debuted in Wolverhampton, before touring nationally in schools.     

Alpha by Wayne McGregorStudio Wayne McGregor

Children’s production Alpha (2003) was developed in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund. The work explored environmental issues, sustainable living and the effects of technology on nature. Audiences were shown video clips of schoolchildren taking remote, webcast dance lessons from Studio Wayne McGregor.        

TEN@RandomStudio Wayne McGregor

TEN@Random was a forward-thinking, three year-long educational scheme produced by Wilson and McGregor, which brought quality dance experiences into ten London secondary schools per term. Once again, animation software Poser was used by students as a stimulus for imaginative physical expression.    

SOMA (2011-03-04)Studio Wayne McGregor

In 2008, McGregor’s commitment to expanding access to creative arts education sees him appointed the UK’s first ever Youth Dance Champion.      

Big Dance 2012 (2012-07-14) by Wayne McGregorStudio Wayne McGregor

For Big Dance (2012), Studio Wayne McGregor guided 1000 dancers from variously abled and skilled groups. They were encouraged to create their own choreography, which was performed in Trafalgar Square.

Big Dance 2012 (2012-07-14) by Wayne McGregorStudio Wayne McGregor

We encouraged participants to unlock their creative potential, rather than learn set choreography. We worked with 35 groups across London with different dance styles, to create individual sections that we then jigsawed together.— Jasmine Wilson   

Dyad 1909 ProjectStudio Wayne McGregor

Alongside esteemed cognitive and social science researchers, McGregor has conducted in-depth research into choreographic methods, creativity and physical intelligence – also known as thinking with and through the body – since 2000. He and his collaborators’ revelatory findings have continually fed his artistic practice, while also being absorbed by the Learning and Engagement team to ensure every single participating body has a worthwhile and inspiring experience. 

Mind and Movement by Studio Wayne McGregorStudio Wayne McGregor

Published by Studio Wayne McGregor in 2013, Mind and Movement is an educational toolkit aimed at resourcing teachers and students to create original movement phrases by following similar methods to those honed in the studios.    

Thinking with the Body exhibition by Studio Wayne McGregorStudio Wayne McGregor

The cumulative findings of McGregor and his research partners’ investigations were also presented at The Wellcome Collection as landmark exhibition Thinking with the Body (2013).  

Random World: Lamu, KenyaStudio Wayne McGregor

Company Wayne McGregor also travels around the world to conduct workshops for those who lack access to formal dance education. In recent years, they’ve visited Lamu in Kenya and Sinthian and Tambacounda in Senegal, as well as completing a lengthy, multi-city tour of India.    

Infra by Wayne McGregorStudio Wayne McGregor

Ten years after he was appointed The Royal Ballet’s Resident Choreographer, McGregor’s abstract ballet Infra (The Royal Ballet, 2008) was added to the UK’s GCSE Dance syllabus in 2016.    

Mix The Body (2017-10-16) by Wayne McGregorStudio Wayne McGregor

In partnership with the British Council, McGregor develops Mix The Body (2017) – a mobile phone application that allows users to make their own choreography. 

Mix The Body (2017-10-16) by Wayne McGregorStudio Wayne McGregor

I hope that people will enjoy using the digital technology of the Mix the Body app to gain a new insight into the choreographic process and to be able to creatively experiment and share it with the world. — Wayne McGregor    

Lightlens (2017-06-16)Studio Wayne McGregor

As part of the Danish city of Aarhus’ turn as European Capital of Culture, Company Wayne McGregor undertook a summer residency that saw them work with 100 intergenerational residents with no prior dance experience to make a public dance piece.    

Studio Wayne McGregorStudio Wayne McGregor

Studio Wayne McGregor offers space for free to local community groups, dance companies and organisations via its FreeSpace programme. All that’s asked in return is some of their time to run engagement projects of their own.    

FreeSpaceStudio Wayne McGregor

The impact has been huge. People think of us as a resource. I love that it's really open access; there are no questions around your experience or what your artistic idea is —Jasmine Wilson

Studio Wayne McGregorStudio Wayne McGregor

The goal for FreeSpace is to donate 15000 hours of space. As of December 2019, Studio Wayne McGregor has given away an astonishing 10269 hours.    

Credits: Story

'Exploring your physical potential' text written by Suze Olbrich

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