Iconic choreographer Wayne McGregor is set to create a new world-class arts space in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London. The leading company Wayne McGregor | Random Dance has set its sights on 2016 for the space to materialise. Studio Wayne McGregor – to be built within Here East – will be a home for McGregor, his company and collaborators, and a major resource for the arts and for the communities of east London.
Here East is transforming the former Press and Broadcast Centres in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park into a world-class centre of innovation and enterprise, driving the regeneration of east London and stimulating long-term economic growth in the UK. It is a space that combines business, technology, media, education and data in the pursuit of innovation. As the first cultural organisation to move into the Park, Studio Wayne McGregor will be a leader for the new education and cultural district being developed.
Comprising three extraordinary studios and additional work spaces, Studio Wayne McGregor will host all of McGregor’s creative work alongside artist development and creative learning programmes based on the trading of space, time and skills: through ‘FreeSpace’, artists will be offered access to world-class studios regardless of funding or stage of development. Space will be offered in blocks of time for rehearsal, creation, research and development. In return, artists will be asked to trade their time to deliver creative engagement for local schools and communities through ‘Free2Create’.
Studio Wayne McGregor aims to be a shared space for making, where artists can exchange knowledge and invent together to collaborate across disciplines. The space will also provide a base from which the company can work with local communities and young people to share experiences and nurture creativity. This is another major step in delivering a combination of education, employment and innovation, and is a major coup for East London in education and the arts.
Autumn 2013 will see Sadler’s Wells continue its partnership with The Princes Foundation for Children and the Arts in the delivery of Dance Quest. Dance Quest is a project for the organisations in which 150 young people across the north of the capital will be introduced to live dance and performance. Students from five north London secondary schools will take part in workshops in the aim to make dance more prominent as an art form. This follows the introduction of the project last year, seeing great success.
Pupils from Broomfield School, Central Foundation Boys’ School, Gladesmore Community School, Holloway School and The Petchey Academy – aged 11-13 – will be eligible to take part in creative workshops led by dancers from Wayne McGregor | Random Dance. Providing young people with an opportunity of this type opens up their perception of dance even further, complemented by their chance to see two dance productions at Sadler’s Wells. For some, this may be their first time in a professional theatre, introducing them to London’s largest dance house.
When Dance Quest was launched last year it was met with a great response. The project is one which is all encompassing, enabling students to get a taste of dance in a unique setting, led by huge talent and aspiration. Dance Quest is a huge opportunity for these students and may even plant the seed of a lifelong interest in dance, perhaps even a profession. For 2013 Dance Quest will culminate in a final sharing in which each group will celebrate their achievements and perform in he Lilian Baylis Studio at Sadler’s Wells. Students will also have the opportunity to gain an Arts Award during the process.
2013 will mark the 15th anniversary of the current Sadler’s Wells building, and the venue aims to celebrate with very special events throughout the year, with all 14 of the theatre’s associate artists contributing to the varied and entertaining programme.
Following its success in 2012, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch will return to the London venue with Bausch’s Two Cigarettes in the Dark, which was created in 1985, and the 2006 creation Vollmund. The Sadler’s Wells flamenco festival is also celebrating this year with its 10th anniversary, castanets and fans galore, in addition to the National Ballet of Canada appearing with their pointe shoes, ready to present the European premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s Romeo and Juliet. The centenary of The Rite of Spring will also be celebrated with A String of Rites, a series of new productions and revivals which will include Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre in Michael Keegan-Dolan’s staging, as Keegan-Dolan becomes the 15th Sadler’s Wells associate artist.
In addition to a number of performances, Sadler’s Wells has announced a new wave of associate artists of the theatre, alongside the existing associate programme of established performers and choreographers. The new young artists will receive a bespoke programme which is tailored to their needs, including much studio time to fulfil those legwarmer needs, in addition to advice and financial support. The aim of the programme is to provide an artistic home for the artists involved: for the first year of the scheme Sadler’s Wells will be supporting Rocio Molina, Random Dance|Wayne McGregor dancer and choreographer Alexander Whitley, Brussels based choreographer Daniel Linehan, visual artist and performer Hetain Patel, Chinese contemporary company TAO Dance Theatre and dancer, choreographer and filmmaker Wilkie Branson.
On Sunday 18 November, 2 December, 20 January 2013 and 24 February 2013, Wayne McGregor | Random Dance is set to perform in Rain Room at The Curve, Barbican Centre. Random International’s acclaimed Rain Room installation in the Curve gallery will be inhabited by dancers from Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, performing continuously evolving interventions in the Rain, with a score by contemporary composer Max Richter.
Known for their distinctive approach to digital-based contemporary art, Random International’s experimental artworks come alive through audience interaction. Their largest and most ambitious installation yet, Rain Room is a 100square metre field of falling water for visitors to walk through and experience how it might feel to control the rain. On entering The Curve the visitor hears the sound of water and feels moisture in the air before discovering the thousands of falling droplets that respond to their presence and movement.
Wayne McGregor | Random Dance is part of Weekend Labs which are immersive arts workshops for adults, offering two full days of action and conversation with other interesting people at the Barbican. They give an opportunity to explore creative work in-depth though practical work in a range of international art forms with Weekend Labs giving a direct access to world class arts and learning programme. These events will build on a series of past collaborations between the award-winning choreographer McGregor and the acclaimed studio Random International, including Random International’s Future Self (MADE, Berlin, April 2012) and Wayne McGregor | Random Dance’s FAR which premiered at Sadler’s Wells in November 2010. FAR is now touring nationally and internationally.
McGregor is a multi-award-winning British choreographer and director, internationally renowned for his physically testing choreography and groundbreaking collaborations across dance, film, music, visual art, technology and science. In addition to being Artistic Director of Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, he is also Resident Company at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London and Resident Choreographer of The Royal Ballet (appointed 2006).
Admission is free but audiences will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis from the queue.
Photo © rAndom International, photography by James Harris.