Wayne McGregor CBE is a multi-award winning British choreographer and director, internationally renowned for trailblazing innovations that have redefined dance in the modern era. Driven by an insatiable curiosity about movement and its creative potentials, his experiments have led him into collaborative dialogue with an array of artistic forms, scientific disciplines, and technological interventions. This program will feature Atomos, performed by Company Wayne McGregor; a collaboration between McGregor, A Winged Victory for the Sullen (music), Lucy Carter (lighting design), Ravi Deepres (film) and Studio XO (costume design). Using XOX emotional wearable technology, Studio XO mapped the dancers’ biometrics to create digital skins inspired by each dancers’ emotional algorithms.
Celebrity Series is pleased to offer a free, post-performance artist talk on May 4 with all 10 members of Company Wayne McGregor. This 20-minute talk, moderated by Peter DiMuro of The Dance Complex, will be held in front of the stage immediately following the Friday evening performance. DiMuro shares his perspective on this the company’s innovative work, Atomos, ahead of the performance.
By: Peter DiMuro
Celebrity Series will bring Wayne McGregor’s Atomos to us soon.
And, just like on Facebook, you can “skip ad” (the next paragraph) in 14 seconds to read about that.
Wayne McGregor’s TED Talk is one of the most concise and effective demonstrations of translating an idea into movement. For as many post-show chats I’ve been a part of, or post-show lobby conversations, or conversations at parties when people find out I am a choreographer, the questions almost certainly arise, “…but how do you make up a dance?…how do your dancers remember the movement?” And, often comes a statement, “I wish I was creative!”
Wayne’s TED Talk breaks down some walls about creativity but also about movement literacy: What is it these bodies within the dance are saying, and if they are saying something, how did the idea get translated into movement?
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Atomos, McGregor’s 70-minute work coming to us from London soon, embodied by his beautiful array of dancers, practices the preach of his Ted Talk beautifully. The work was created through a deep level of collaboration, bringing designers – including a technology firm, Studio XO, known for “wearable” technology – and dancers in to play in each other’s worlds, likely just post-concept into process into fruition on stage.
What’s truly satisfying from the clips I watched in the multi-media dance that unfolds is the evidence, the DNA markers, of this collaboration without the academic overstatement in collaborations of this kind. We used to identify this phenomenon as choreographers – or other artists, academics – trying to insult us, the audience, with their intelligence: hitting us over the head with big concept and words, versus art that is translated from those ideas. (But that’s another ad altogether.)
McGregor’s artistry and craftsmanship is evident. Even without the fields of projections and the dancers’ articulate translations in space, or the shifting post-modern sound score, you are experiencing well-composed and satisfying dance.
That McGregor and his collaborators have done such a fine job of seamlessness almost makes what we see a mystery – as if eating a meal and you are not sure what’s in it… but you can’t stop eating.
Another video, explaining the processes used to make the work, is totally worth the five minutes to watch prior to coming to the theatre (and no Facebook ad there!). You’ll hear about the dancers’ movements being collected as data, and that data being turned around into information to build 3-D sculptures then used by the dancers to improvise new movement. It is a fascinating peek into art and science, sumptuously delivered.
Looking forward to seeing you at the Shubert.
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Peter DiMuro is a career-long dance artist who returned to Boston after 20 years of performing, teaching and making dance internationally. In addition his role as Executive Artistic Director of the 25-year-old non-profit center, The Dance Complex, he continues to make work with his own company, Peter DiMuro/Public Displays of Motion and as a freelance artist. Recent commissions include dances for Commonwealth Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” on Boston Common, and a commission from Boston’s Landmark Orchestra for dances set to Aaron Copland’s historic “Rodeo,” performed with live orchestra on the Esplanade. He was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Arts from Salem State University in early 2017. Peter often engages the public in creativity literacy in non-arts identified corporate and other community settings. In 2014, he was honored to collaborate with Celebrity Series of Boston as rehearsal director for Sylvain Emard’s Le Grand Continental public dance project.
Facebook: Peter DiMuro/Public Displays of Motion