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Royal Ballet Resident Choreographer Wayne McGregor’s one act ballet Infra has been added to AQA’s Dance GCSE syllabus. Available to students from September 2016 this is the first time McGregor’s choreography has become part of the GCSE curriculum.  


The inclusion of Infra in the AQA syllabus marks a change from the previous course which focused on traditional narrative ballet. The Dance GCSE explores various elements and genres of dance through performance and choreography, celebrating the art form and creating an appreciation of dance. Infra was created for The Royal Ballet in 2008 and is set to a score by Max Richter and features set designs by British artist Julian Opie.  


Wayne McGregor comments ‘Studying dance in schools contributes vitally to a well-rounded and wide-reaching general education for young people. Engaging creatively with the arts facilitates new modes of communication and self-expression, essential attributes for innovation in any domain. Dance sharpens a student’s ability to think with and through the body, while challenging them to combine a broad range of multiple intelligences to solve creative problems. I am thrilled that Infra will play a role in inspiring the next generation of talent.’



Kevin O’Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet, adds ‘Infra is a ground-breaking work which showcases the possibilities of modern ballet. Wayne is a galvanizing force for dance in the 21st century and through his unique choreography he constantly challenges and extends balletic technique creating a new and exciting theatrical experience for dancers and audiences. I’m thrilled that thousands of young people will be able to study and learn from his genius.’


Seb Ross, AQA Performing Arts Qualifications Manager, said ‘We are delighted to have the work of renowned choreographer Wayne McGregor in our new GCSE Dance syllabus. Infra is a challenging and beautiful contemporary work and I’m pleased that AQA GCSE Dance students across the country will have the opportunity to study and enjoy the choreography.’


Wayne McGregor is renowned for his groundbreaking choreography and collaborations. He was appointed Royal Ballet Resident Choreographer in 2006 and has created 12 works for the Company. His most recent production was the critically acclaimed Woolf Works inspired by the writings of Virginia Woolf.   Infra is a staple of The Royal Ballet repertory and has been performed around the world, most recently in New York as part of the Royal Ballet USA tour 2015.  Obsidian Tear, McGregor’s latest work for The Royal Ballet premieres on 28 May.




Notes to Editors

The Royal Ballet

Based at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, The Royal Ballet is Great Britain’s most prestigious ballet company and one of the great classical ballet companies of the world.  Led by Director Kevin O’Hare, the Company has a wide-ranging repertory that showcases the great 19th century classics alongside heritage works including those of its two great 20th century choreographers Frederick Ashtonand Kenneth MacMillan. In addition, The Royal Ballet performs new works by Royal Ballet Resident Choreographer Wayne McGregor, Royal Ballet Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon and Liam Scarlett Royal Ballet Artist in Residence, three of the foremost international choreographers working today.


The Royal Opera House is committed to enabling as many people as possible to experience and enjoy world class ballet. Each Season more than 740,000 people attend performances at the Opera House; 33,000 people participate in learning and participation events ranging from Monday Moves for blind and partially sighted people to Chance to Dance for talented children from underprivileged backgrounds.Many hundreds of thousands across the UK and overseas tune in to BBC radio and television broadcasts; more than 47,000 attend our free outdoor BP Big Screens – live relays from the Royal Opera House; and a further 730,000 have been able to watch our productions in cinemas worldwide.


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"... a change from the previous course which focused on traditional narrative ballet."


I don't think so. Definitely not in fact.


Taken from the specification from 2014 onwards (from the AQA site today) the prescribed professional works are currently:


And who shall go to the ball?, Rafael Bonachela

Bird Song, Siobhan Davies

Dance Tek Warriors, Union Dance

Faultline Shobana Jeyasingh

Ghost Dances, Christopher Bruce

Nutcracker!, Matthew Bourne

Overdrive, Richard Alston

Perfect, Motionhouse

Romeo and Juliet, Kenneth MacMillan

Rosas Danst Rosas, Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker

Still Life at the Penguin Cafe, David Bintley

Swansong, Christopher Bruce


Twelve works and not exactly what I would call 'focused on traditional narrative ballet'.

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