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Autobiography Autobiography | Photo: Richard Davies


Company Wayne McGregor

Trailblazing choreographer and director Wayne McGregor’s new work explores the algorithmic nature of the human body to create a unique performance every time.

What does it mean to write your own life story?

Trailblazing choreographer and director Wayne McGregor has been radically redefining dance in the modern era with his own company, at The Royal Ballet where he has been Resident Choreographer since 2006, and internationally. He has an unmistakable visual style that pushes the body to ever greater virtuosity.

For 25 years McGregor has been making choreography that interrogates life through the experience of the body, moving intelligently in space and time. His practice is far-reaching and seeks out collaborators from a diverse range of artistic and scientific fields. Now, he turns his attention to the body as archive, with a work illuminated by the sequencing of his own genome.

Autobiography is a deeply personal show for the ten dancers of Company Wayne McGregor, with body-shaking electronic beats and immersive lighting, creating dance that is startling in its power and grandeur, yet bewitching in its nuances.

Collaborating with scientists from the Wellcome Trust, McGregor has sequenced his own genome, sampling the mass of data to determine the order of Autobiography’s spellbinding tableaux. Every performance of Autobiography is unique, an experience for dancers and audience alike that’s never again repeated.

Tackling profound themes of memory, ageing, sleep, past and future, Autobiography is mesmerising, multi-layered and mysteriously beautiful. It features original music from former steel mill worker Jlin colliding industrial sounds and gripping dance rhythms, dynamic set design and projection by Ben Cullen Williams, multi-layered costume design by Aitor Throup complementing the dramaturgy by writer Uzma Hameed, and stage-drenching lighting by award-winning designer Lucy Carter. The performance order of the dance pieces is assembled in a unique order by software architect Nick Rothwell.

★★★★★ "brings a rush of genuine excitement flooding through your veins"
The Scotsman

★★★★ "his dancers are superbly able to express his mercurial mindset"
The Herald

★★★★ "as always, the clarity of the dancers, even at speed, is outstanding"
Seeing Dance

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a mesmerising, inimitable show

The Guardian

breaks fresh ground

The Independent

Contains strobe lighting

Wayne McGregor Concept, director and choreographer, in collaboration with the dancers
Jlin Music
Ben Cullen Williams Set designer and projection
Lucy Carter Lighting designer
Aitor Throup Costume designer
Uzma Hameed Dramaturgy

Co-produced by Studio Wayne McGregor; Sadler’s Wells, London, UK; Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg; Edinburgh International Festival, UK; Festspielhaus St Pölten, Austria; Carolina Performing Arts at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA; Movimentos Festwochen der Autostadt in Wolfsburg, Germany

Co-commissioned by West Kowloon Cultural District, Hong Kong; Festival Diaghilev. P.S., St Petersburg, Russia; Centro Cultural Vila Flor, Guimaraes, Portugal; Seattle Theatre Group, USA (music); Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London, UK.

More information about some of the artists:

Wayne McGregor
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11-13 August 2018

This event was part of a previous International Festival and is therefore unavailable to book or watch. The 2021 programme will be announced in June.

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