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Press Release: Wayne McGregor's critically acclaimed Autobiography returns to Sadler's Wells

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Company Wayne McGregor

Thursday 26 - Saturday 28 July
Performances: Thursday - Saturday at 7.30pm
Tickets: £12 - £32
Ticket Office: 020 7863 8000 or www.sadlerswells.com

“Mesmerisingly good” The Guardian

The visionary contemporary choreographer and director Wayne McGregor leads his critically acclaimed Company Wayne McGregor with the return of Autobiography to Sadler’s Wells from 26 - 28 July.


For 25 years, Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Wayne McGregor has made choreography that interrogates life through the experience of the body. Now McGregor turns his attention to the body as archive, with a dance portrait illuminated by the sequencing of his own genome by world-leading geneticists. Autobiography, is an abstract meditation on aspects of self, life, writing, refracting both remembered pasts and speculative futures.

A Studio Wayne McGregor production, co-produced by Sadler’s Wells, Autobiography is reinvented at each performance, the order of the dance pieces algorithmically-assembled from a collection of 23 choreographic volumes which unfold uniquely at each performance.

Wayne McGregor is joined by collaborators: designer Ben Cullen-Williams, lighting designer Lucy Carter, artist and designer Aitor Throup and dramaturg Uzma Hameed. Each performance will feature the electronic score performed live by producer Jlin.Autobiography is performed by Company Wayne McGregor, a Sadler’s Wells Resident Company.

Autobiography continues an international tour, including dates at the Edinburgh International Festival from 11 - 13 August. Further dance projects McGregor is working on include a revival of Obsidian Tear at the Royal Ballet, an all-McGregor triple bill, including new work Sunyata, by the Bavarian State Ballet in Munich and AFTERITE, McGregor’s first creation for American Ballet Theatre, his unique take on The Rite of Spring. He will present the first dance programme as the inaugural Director of Dance for The Grange Festival in June 2018. McGregor’s Tree of Codes, a collaboration with Olafur Eliasson and Jamie xx for Company Wayne McGregor and Paris Opera Ballet performed at Sadler’s Wells last year, was recently nominated for an Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production.

Beyond the dance stage, McGregor has been in demand as a choreographer for theatre, opera, television and film including Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, The Legend of Tarzan, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, Sing and forthcoming films Fantastic Beasts 2 and Mary Queen of Scots, music videos (Radiohead, Atoms for Peace, The Chemical Brothers) campaigns (Selfridges, Boots No.7), fashion shows (Gareth Pugh, New York Fashion Week 2014) television (Brit Awards opening sequence 2016, Paloma Faith performance 2015) and site-specific performances (Big Dance, Trafalgar Square 2012). In over 25 years of collaborative multi-disciplinary works he has partnered with artists such as John Tavener, Audrey Niffenegger, Kaija Saariaho, Max Richter, Thom Yorke, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jon Hopkins, John Pawson and Mark-Anthony Turnage. McGregor recently directed and choreographed Winged Bull in the Elephant Case with Robin Friend and Rhodri Huw, an immersive performance for the screen for BBC Performance Live filmed at London’s National Gallery.

Autobiography marked the first piece McGregor creates in his own world class arts space, Studio Wayne McGregor which opened in 2017. The first arts organisation in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, it is located in the heart of technology and media centre Here East. This creative space embodies McGregor’s life-long interest in and collaboration with science and technology research, and will be his centre for experimental creative projects in biology and genetics, AI, VR and new technologies. In 2022, Studio Wayne McGregor will be joined by Sadler’s Wells who are developing a fourth venue in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, as part of a new Culture and Education District.

Co-produced by Studio Wayne McGregor; Sadler’s Wells; Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg; Edinburgh International Festival; Festspielhaus St Pölten, Austria; Carolina Performing Arts at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA and 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, Guimarães, Portugal; Seattle Theatre Group, USA (music) and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London

Music by Jlin in partnership with Unsound

Wayne McGregor is a Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist

Company Wayne McGregor is a Sadler’s Wells Resident Company


Sadler's Wells is a world-leading creative organisation dedicated to dance in all its forms. With over three centuries of theatrical heritage and a year-round programme of performances and learning activities, it is the place where artists come together to create dance, and where people of all backgrounds come to experience it – to take part, learn, experiment and be inspired.

Audiences of over half a million come to its London theatres each year, with many more enjoying its touring productions at venues across the UK and around the world, and accessing its content through digital channels.
Sadler's Wells commissions, produces and presents more new dance work than any other theatre in the world, embracing the popular and the unknown. Since 2005, it has helped to bring over 160 new dance works to the stage, many of them involving its 16 Associate Artists, three Resident Companies and four Associate Companies – the most exciting talents working in dance today.
It also nurtures the next generation of talent through research and development, running the National Youth Dance Company and a range of programmes including Wild Card, New Wave Associates, Open Art Surgery and Summer University. Sadler's Wells' learning and engagement activities reach over 25,000 annually through programmes that take dance out into the community and invite communities into the theatre. Projects include community productions and the renowned Company of Elders, its resident over-60s performance group, while events range from pre and post-show talks with dance artists to classes, workshops and assisted performances.
Located in Islington, north London, the current building is the sixth to have stood on site since entrepreneur Richard Sadler first established the theatre in 1683. The venue has played an illustrious role in the history of theatre ever since, with The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and English National Opera having all started at Sadler's Wells.

Wayne McGregor CBE is a multi-award-winning British choreographer and director. He is Artistic Director of Studio Wayne McGregor, the creative engine of his life-long choreographic enquiry into thinking through and with the body, based at Here East on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Studio Wayne McGregor fuels the breadth of McGregor’s creative work including the development and touring of signature works on his ensemble of world-class dancers, Company Wayne McGregor; a portfolio of international commissions across genres including dance, visual arts, film, theatre and opera; specialised learning and engagement programmes emboldening individuals in their own creative expression; mentoring and cultivating of other artists; and inquisitive research enterprises which look across science, technology and the arts to provoke questions about some of the extraordinary phenomena of physical thinking.
McGregor has choreographed over 30 works for his own group of dancers, Company Wayne McGregor, the chief exponents of his distinctive visual style. He is also Resident Choreographer at The Royal Ballet, where his productions are acclaimed for their daring reconfiguring of classical language. He is Professor of Choreography at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, an Honorary Doctor of Science from Plymouth University and an Honorary Doctor of Letters from University of Leeds. In 2017 he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the British Science Association. He is serving on the grand jury for the RIBA International Prize 2018.
McGregor is regularly commissioned by and has works in the repertories of the most important ballet companies around the world, including Paris Opera Ballet, New York City Ballet, NDT1, Australian Ballet and San Francisco Ballet. He has choreographed for theatre (productions at ENO, Old Vic, NT and Royal Court) opera (Dido and Aeneas, Acis and Galatea for La Scala/Royal Opera, film (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, The Legend of Tarzan, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, Sing, and the forthcoming films Fantastic Beasts 2 and Mary Queen of Scots), music videos (Radiohead, Atoms for Peace, The Chemical Brothers), fashion (Gareth Pugh at London Fashion Week 2017), campaigns (Selfridges, Boots No.7), TV (Brit Awards opening sequence 2016, Paloma Faith’s Brit Awards performance 2015), and site specific performances (Big Dance Trafalgar Square, 2012).

McGregor's work has earned him four Critics' Circle National Dance Awards, two Time Out Awards, two South Bank Show Awards, two Olivier Awards, a prix Benois de la Danse and two Golden Mask Awards. In 2011 McGregor was awarded a CBE for Services to Dance. 
Over the 2017-2018 season McGregor’s projects include: Autobiography for Company Wayne McGregor; Winged Bull in the Elephant Case directed by McGregor, Robin Friend and Rhodri Huw, filmed at the National Gallery, premiere BBC Two; Yugen new work for The Royal Ballet Bernstein centenary programme, premiere Royal Opera House London; Sunyata, new work for for all-McGregor programme with Kairos and Borderlands for Bayerisches Staatsballet, premiere Staatsoper Munich; and AFTERITE, new work for American Ballet Theatre, premiere Metropolitan Opera House, New York City.

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  • 2 months later...

By sheer luck last weekend we googled what was on in Stratford and found that two Company Wayne McGregor dancers were performing a pdd from Autobiography at the Vote 100 event nearby.  We  watched them perform it twice - for free :D.   I also discovered how difficult it is to take coherent photos of WMcG choreography...

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