Research

A life-long interest in science and technology has been integral to many of Wayne McGregor's creative processes, fuelling choreography mined from radical inter-disciplinary collaborations. These enquiries have evolved into a sustained programme of research exploring both the nature of dance-making and the intelligence of the body.

Facilitated by former Research Director Scott deLahunta, Studio Wayne McGregor has developed close ties to a network of researchers and practitioners in fields such as cognitive science, social anthropology and software development. Since 2002 our interdisciplinary research programme has included working with Professor David Kirsh at the University of California, San Diego, to investigate ‘distributed creative cognition’ amongst and between McGregor and the dancers inside the studio; developing artificially intelligent software for choreography with digital artists OpenEndedGroup and software architect Cassiel; exploring ‘choreographic thinking tools’ to disrupt patterns of behaviour while creating choreography with Professor Philip Barnard at the Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit at Medical Research Council, Cambridge; and working with social anthropologist Professor James Leach on a study of creative processes and the organisation of the Studio's hive of individuals and collaborative partners.

The ‘choreographic thinking tools’ have also developed into a practical educational resource, Mind and Movement, that can be used in schools and learning environments to develop creative potential and enhance individual choreographic skills.

Wayne McGregor spent a year as Research Fellow of the Department of Experimental Psychology at Cambridge University and was Innovator in Residence at University of California, San Diego. In 2013 the results of over a decade of original research were celebrated in the exhibition, Thinking with the Body, at London's Wellcome Collection in 2013. It was both an examination of McGregor’s particular choreographic processes, and an exploration of how mind, body and movement interact in each of us.

Studio Wayne McGregor’s move to Here East in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park presents a host of new opportunities for enriching research collaborations. Here East is conceptualised as a “home for making”, and the Studio will be housed alongside potential partners as diverse as small and agile tech start-ups, and large technology, education, media and innovation companies such as BT Sport, Loughborough University, Infinity SDC and UCL.

Projects

Choreographic Language Agent

2008

The Choreographic Language Agent was an intelligent software agent, generating unique solutions to choreographic problems. The most recent iteration of the project was Becoming, an interactive digital object that supports dance making in the studio, which was used in the creation of Atomos (2013).

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Distributed Choreographic Cognition

2009

Distributed Choreographic Cognition was a collaboration with the University of California, San Diego, examining the unique coordination of choreographic thought and action between choreographer and dancers during the creation process.

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TED Talk

2012

Wayne McGregor presented at the TED Global conference in June 2012, demonstrating his choreographic practice with the help of two company dancers.

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Choreographic Thinking Tools

2013

The Choreographic Thinking Tools were developed out of a decade of research into Wayne McGregor's creative process and the way he generates movement material with his dancers. They provided the foundation for the education resource, Mind and Movement.

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Thinking with the Body - Wellcome Exhibition

2013

Thinking with the Body was an exhibition presented at London's Wellcome Collection exploring Wayne McGregor's choreographic creativity and interdisciplinary research approaches in the studio.

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