Dance, Main Stage

This Weekend: Company Wayne McGregor Performs Atomos

By: Alexandra Contreras

Wayne McGregor is a multi-award winning British choreographer and director internationally known for pushing the boundaries of ballet and contemporary dance and marrying them with new technologies, sciences, architecture, and art. His trailblazing work always comes from an interest in plugging dance into the real world and aims to push the dancers’ bodies –the most technologically literate thing that we have, according to McGregor—and to take audiences on a journey that pushes them to see something differently. Through his work, McGregor wishes to create a different type of conversation and encourage the creative capacities of people, because he believes that anybody has a talent for dance and choreography, it’s simply undiscovered.

Company Wayne McGregor –the laboratory for McGregor’s ambitious and experimental new choreography since 1992–comes to Boston’s Boch Center Shubert Theatre this weekend (May 4-5) with their thrilling and fascinating work, Atomos. Furthering his research on how bodies move and create choreography, this work comes from McGregor’s interest in “growing” his choreography out of small atoms of material.

 

Atomos rehearsal. Photo by Ravi Deepres

During the choreographic process for Atomos, McGregor gave 3D glasses to his team of ten dancers and asked them to make movements based on what they were seeing and thinking from 3D shapes on a screen. After some time of individual exploration, McGregor joined the dancers to start creating movements, shapes, and phrases that kept with his goal of finding ways to deviate the body in strange ways and of growing from the smallest units of matter. He defined ten different ways of looking at the screen and then asked the dancers to develop them with changes in meaning, flow, direction, shape, and energy, each time creating more material that resonated with McGregor’s unique style–sculptural, rigorous, jarring, and hauntingly beautiful. Watch this video to learn more about Company Wayne McGregor’s process and concept tracking for Atomos.

McGregor and his dancers also collaborated with Studio XO Fashioning Technologies to create the costumes for Atomos. By using their XOX emotional wearable technology, they mapped the dancers’ biometrics and designed digital skins inspired by each dancer’s emotional algorithms. This video illustrates what the collaboration entailed! These two processes and collaborations come to life on stage along with the dark waves of sound from A Winged Victory for the Sullen that break over a stage pulsing with Ravi Deepres’s 3D film and screen installations, and washed by Lucy Carter’s subtle lighting, creating Atomos’ truly synesthetic experience.

Intrigued yet? Get your tickets to experience how bodies, movement, sound, film, and light are atomized into miniature shards of intense sensation during Atomos this May 4-5 at Boch Center Shubert Theatre!

 

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