Wayne McGregor

Wayne McGregor (born 12 March 1970, Stockport, Cheshire, England) is a multi-award winning British choreographer, dancer and director.

McGregor is renowned for his physically testing choreography and ground-breaking collaborations across dance, film, music, visual art, technology and science. He is Resident Choreographer of The Royal Ballet, the first in 16 years and the only one ever to come from the world of contemporary dance; the Government’s first Youth Dance Champion (appointed April 2008); and the Artistic Director of Wayne McGregor Random Dance Company, Resident Company at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London. McGregor is also a frequent creator of new work for La Scala, Milan, Paris Opera Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet and English National Ballet; as well as movement director for theatre and film (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire).


Wayne McGregor was born in Stockport in 1970. He studied dance at University College Bretton and at the José Limon School in New York. At the age of 22 he founded his own company, Wayne McGregor | Random Dance; it was invited to be the first resident company at the new Sadler’s Wells in 2001. The company became the instrument upon which McGregor evolved the drastically fast and articulate choreographic style he had created for himself. It was during his major trilogy The Millennarium (1997), Sulphur 16 (1998) and Aeon (2000) that the company became a byword for its radical approach to new technology – incorporating animation, digital film, 3D architecture, electronic sound and virtual dancers into the live choreography. Collaborations with leading multi-disciplinary artists enriched the company’s futurist aesthetic and dramatically enlarged the possibilities of dance. His career to date has also taken him beyond the conventional stage, choreographing for films such as Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, creating site-specific installations for Southbank Centre’s The Hayward, The Saatchi Gallery, the Houses of Parliament and for the Pompidou Centre in Paris. Collaborations with artists outside of the dance field have included composers Sir John Tavener, Scanner, Plaid and Joby Talbot/The White Stripes, animatronics experts, Jim Henson’s Creature Workshop and neuro-scientists and heart-imaging specialists for his past two works for Random Dance, AtaXia and Amu.



Dance performance

  • Entity for Wayne McGregor | Random Dance (2008)
  • Nimbus for The Royal Ballet (2008)
  • Genus for Paris Opera Ballet (2007)
  • [meməri] for D.A.N.C.E. (2007)
  • Chroma for The Royal Ballet (2006)
  • Eden|Eden for San Francisco Ballet (2006)
  • Skindex for NDT1 (2006)
  • Amu@Durham for Wayne McGregor | Random Dance at Durham Cathedral (2006)
  • Engram for the Royal Ballet (2005)
  • Ossein for Wayne McGregor | Random Dance (2005)
  • Amu for Wayne McGregogr | Random Dance (2005)
  • Eden|Eden for Stuttgart Ballet (2005)
  • AtaXia for Wayne McGregor | Random Dance (2004)
  • Series for Wayne McGregor | Random Dance at Houses of Parliament, London (2004)
  • Dragonfly for National Glass Centre, Sunderland (2004)
  • Qualia for The Royal Ballet (2003)
  • Xenathra for Wayne McGregor, Dance Umbrella (2003)
  • Binocular for Adam Cooper Dance Company (2003)
  • Polar Sequences for Wayne McGregor | Random Dance (2003)
  • Nautilus for Stuttgart Ballet (2003)
  • Bio-logical for BodyCraze, Selfridges London/Manchester (2003)
  • 2 Human for English National Ballet (2003)
  • Alpha for Wayne McGregor | Random Dance (2003)
  • PreSentient for Rambert Dance Company(2002)
  • Game of Halves for National Youth Dance Wales (2002)
  • BodyScript for Connect with Sadler’s Wells (2002)
  • Phase Space for the Gothenburg Ballet/Random Dance (2002)
  • L.O.V.E for Imagination Frankfurt (2002)
  • Nemesis for Wayne McGregor | Random Dance (2002)
  • digit01 for Wayne McGregor | Random Dance (2001)
  • HIVE for National Youth Dance Wales (2001)
  • 11 Digital Mantras for The Roundhouse London (2001)
  • Castlescape for East London Dance (2001)
  • Codex for First Class Air Male - Dance East (2001)
  • detritus for Rambert Dance Company (2001)
  • brainstate for Wayne McGregor | Random Dance and The Royal Ballet (2001)
  • Velociraptor for Dance East/Bury Festival (2001)
  • Symbiont(s) for The Royal Ballet (2001)
  • Aeon for Wayne McGregor | Random Dance (2000)
  • Fleur de Peux for Vivianna Durante, Royal Ballet (2000)
  • Telenoia for Canary Wharf (2000)
  • The Field for East London Dance/Greenwich & Docklands International Festival (2000)
  • net/work Narrative(s) for South East Dance Agency/Brighton International Festival (2000)
  • Equation for the Centre George Pompidou, Paris (1999)
  • Zero Hertz for Cork Opera House, Ireland (1999)
  • In:terplay (Bruce Nauman) for the Hayward Gallery, London (1998)
  • Sulphur 16 for Random Dance (1998)
  • Intertense for Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company (1998)
  • Medusa for Olympic Ballet Company, Milan (1998)
  • Trial By Jury for Melbourne International Festival (1998)
  • Angel for the Natural History Museum, London (1998)
  • Scottish Opera/Random Collaboration for the Galleryof Modern Art, Glasgow (1998)
  • Pointe for the Saatchi Gallery, London (1997)
  • Dance Of The Broadband for Le Groupe de la Place Royale, Ottowa (1997)
  • The Millennarium for Wayne McGregor | Random Dance (1997)
  • Skinned Prey for 4D (London Contemporary Dance School) (1997)
  • x2 for the Royal Museum, Edinburgh (1997)
  • Chameleon for the Barbican Centre, London (1997)
  • Black on White for the South Bank Centre Ballroom, London (1997)
  • S.I.N. for Shed O, London Docklands (1997)
  • Neurotransmission for Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Aldeburgh (1997)
  • Encoder for Shobana Jeyasingh’s Away Game (1996)
  • Bach Suite for Crusaid Gala (Olivier Theatre, RNT) (1996)
  • Ventolin for West Yorkshire Playhouse (1996)
  • Esc...otherspace for Birmingham Hippodrome (1996)
  • 8 Legs of the Devil for Wayne McGregor | Random Dance (1996)
  • Urban Savage for Ricochet Dance Company (1996)
  • Vulture (Reverse Effect) commissioned by Cultural Industry (1996)
  • Cybergeneration for the Belfast International Festival at Queens (1996)
  • Installation over 4 for Selfridges’ Gallery Window
  • World Disabled Games (opening) for Birmingham International Stadium
  • Match Half for Nottingham Forrest Stadium
  • Slam for The Arches, Glasgow (1996)
  • Dragonfly for the Alternative Hair Show, Drury Lane (1995)
  • CeBit Dances for Imagination/Ericsson, Hanover (1995)
  • Cyborg for Wayne McGregor | Random Dance (1995)
  • Jacob’s Membrane for Wayne McGregor | Random Dance (1995)
  • For Bruising Archangel for Wayne McGregor | Random Dance (1995)
  • AnArkos for Wayne McGregor | Random Dance (1995)
  • Sever for Wayne McGregor | Random Dance (1995)
  • 9.7 recurring 2%Black for National Youth Dance Company (1994)
  • Artificial Intelligence for National Youth Dance Company (1994)
  • Cyberdream for The Boys Project, The Place (1994)
  • White Out for The Boys Project, The Place (1994)
  • Vulcan for Swindon Youth Dance Company (1994)
  • Labrax for Wayne McGregor | Random Dance (1994)
  • GCSE National Set Study for Northern Examinations & Assessment Board (1994)
  • Xeno 1 2 3 for Wayne McGregor | Random Dance (1993)


  • Tremor for Channel 4 (2005)
  • Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire for Warner Bros (Dir. Mike Newell) (2004)
  • Dance USA for BBC 4 (2004)
  • Dice Life for Channel 4 (2004)
  • Chrysalis for Arte (2002)
  • The Dancers Body for BBC 2 (2002)
  • Nemesis for BBC4 (2002)
  • Physical Dysfunctional for BBC Knowledge (2001)
  • Symbiont(s) for BBC2 (2001)
  • Horizone for Dance for the Camera (BBC & ACE) (2001)
  • Medusa for RaiUno International, Italy
  • Bent for Channel Four Films, Sarah Radclyffe Prod. (1996)
  • Tomorrows World Live commissioned for NESTA
  • Broadband Documentary for Discovery Channel, USA
  • The Last Siren commissioned by RaiUno International
  • Redoxon Commercial for Arden Sutherland Dodd
  • Eurostar Commercial for Arden Sutherland Dodd (1998)


  • Fram for the National Theatre (2008)
  • Ring Around The Moon for Playhouse Theatre, West End (2007)
  • Kirikou & Karaba for Casino de Paris (2007)
  • Much Ado About Nothing for the Peter Hall Company (2006)
  • You Can Never Tell for the Peter Hall Company (2005)
  • Aladdin for the Old Vic (2004/5)
  • Cloaca for the Old Vic (2004)
  • Woman in White for The Palace Theatre (2004/5)
  • A Little Night Music for the National Theatre (1995)
  • Cleansed for the Royal Court Theatre
  • Antony and Cleopatra for the National Theatre


  • Dido and Aeneas for La Scala (2006)
  • The Midsummer Marriage for Chicago Lyric Opera (2005)
  • La Boheme for Scottish National Opera
  • Manon for English Touring Opera
  • Hansel and Gretel for Scottish National Opera
  • Rinaldo for Grange Park Opera
  • The Mikado for Grange Park Opera
  • Salome for English National Opera
  • The Marriage of Figaro for Scottish Opera
  • Orpheus et Eurydice for Scottish Opera
  • Orpheus et Eurydice for Scottish Opera Go Round


An opportunity to see why Wayne McGregor is acclaimed as one of the world’s most exciting choreographers – and why the Royal Ballet has hired him as their first Resident Choreographer in 16 years - as he unleashes 10 dancers, beats and strings in his new show, ENTITY, premiered at Sadler’s Wells on April 2008 and currently on tour.

An hour-long breathtaking trip through a soundscape created by Coldplay and Massive Attack collaborator, Jon Hopkins, and award-winning composer Joby Talbot (The Divine Comedy), ENTITY is a staggering blend of athletic bodies, lights, technology and film which confirms McGregor’s place at the cutting edge of contemporary culture. Technically astonishing, emotionally uncompromising and hard-hitting McGregor’s work breaks boundaries and defies categorisation.

An Audio Programme of the show, featuring music and interviews, and a clip on the Making of Entity, are available on Random Dance There is also a video on the Guardian Website



"A great sexy beast of a piece - it’s like being licked by a panther’s juicy, rasping tongue while you’re revising maths."


"The steps unfold with startling clarity and breathtaking invention. You don’t need to know what he is doing to appreciate that he is doing something different."


"There is no other dance vocabulary like this"

THE FINANCIAL TIMES, feature about Wayne McGregor, APRIL 5, 2008

TIME MAGAZINE, feature about Wayne McGregor, APRIL 2, 2008


"If McGregor's appointment as choreographer in residence was regarded as brave, handing over the whole building to him for three days might be considered positively fearless."


The list of awards for Wayne McGregor's accomplishments is extensive, including most recently, a 2007 Critics Circle National Dance Award nomination for Chroma (Best Choreography – Classical), an Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production for Chroma, a South Bank Show Award for the Royal Ballet Triple Bill (which featured Chroma), the Outstanding Achievement in Dance Award in Time Out’s Live Awards 2001 and the Time Out Award for Outstanding Choreography in 2003.

Movement vocabulary/Choreographic style

Wayne McGregor’s choreography is characterised by dynamic, sharp, often fragmented and often sinuously fluid movement. This movement vocabulary has its origins in McGregor’s own long, lean and supple physique and in his body’s ability to register movement with peculiar sharpness and speed.‘I have very long limbs, but no flexibility in the joints, and when I was dancing I made a style for myself that suited my body’ [Wayne McGregor, The Lebrecht Weekly, 2006] At one extreme McGregor’s dancing is a jangle of tiny fractured angles, at the other a whirl of seemingly boneless fluidity. Translated from his own body onto the members of Random the effect is of a dense, flickering energy field. “Shards of feverish, unpredictable movement ricochet through Wayne McGregor’s choreography with the force of an unleashed cyclone” [Los Angeles Times]


McGregor started playing with computers when he was seven and it was natural for him to incorporate the cyber world into his own choreography. Collaborating with state-of-the art designers he experimented with projecting computer generated images onto the stage. In Sulphur 16 (1998) Random’s dancers were dwarfed by the presence of a shimmering virtual giant and danced with a company of digital figures who wove and shimmered among them like visitants from another age. In Aeon (2000) digitally created landscapes transported the dancers to what seemed like other dimensions and other worlds. On specific occasions McGregor has used technology to alter the conditions under which his work is viewed. 53 Bytes (1997) was created for simultaneous performance by two sets of dancers in Berlin and Canada and it was watched by audiences in both countries by live satellite link. In 2000 McGregor aimed for an even more global public by transmitting a live performance of his Trilogy Installation over the internet – envisioning yet more directions in which dance might be transformed by technology. Additionally, Wayne McGregor | Random Dance has been the vehicle for McGregor’s ongoing fascination with the mechanisms of the human body. In Amu (2005) he explored the functions and the symbolism of the heart, in Ataxia (2004) the connection between brain and body movement and in his most recent work, Entity (on tour 2008-2009) the links between artificial intelligence and choreography. During Entity rehearsals, he and the dancers worked alongside six international cognitive scientists and technologists from esteemed institutes including University College London, University of Cambridge, University College San Diego and Imperial College London. In January 2009 they travel to University College San Diego to create a new piece of work under ‘lab’ conditions; fuelling the search for new creative decisions on the part of McGregor and new findings in the brain/body relationship for the scientists.


Wayne McGregor | Random Dance’s Creative Learning Department caters for children and teenagers alike. The focus of the company’s education work is a programme of activity that supports and complements the choreographic style of Wayne McGregor. This has so far been accomplished through a variety of events, ranging from fast-paced and challenging technique class, and repertory sessions in McGregor's idiosyncratic physical language to research-based choreographic exercises built to open new doors to individuals' creativity. The creative learning department has so far tailor made projects with partners all over the UK and the world such as Alpha, Light Atlas, digit01 and Bodyscript.


Entity 2008-2009

  • Sadler’s Wells // London, UK // 10,11,12 April
  • Movimentos Festival // Wolfsburg, Germany // 30 April, 1,2 May
  • Wycombe Swan // High Wycombe, UK // 7 May
  • Nottingham Playhouse // Nottingham, UK // 10 May
  • Dance Week Festival // Zagreb, HR // 2, 3 June
  • Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele // Ludwisgburg, GER // 15 June
  • Teatro alla Tese, Venice Biennale // Venice, IT // 20, 21, 22 June
  • Latitude Festival // Henman Park, UK // 18, 19, 20 July
  • The Big Chill (Erazor) // Malvern Hills, UK // 2 Aug
  • Biennale de la Danse // Lyon, FR // 8, 9, 10, 11 Sep
  • Hall for Cornwall // Truro, UK // 16 Sep
  • Posthof Zeitkultur Am Hafen // Linz, AT // 20 Sep
  • Trafo // Budapest, HU // 3, 4 Oct
  • Theatre Royal Winchester // Winchester, UK // 8, 9 Oct
  • Wyvern Theatre // Swindon, UK // 13 Oct
  • Waterfront Studio, Belfast Festival // Belfast, UK // 18 Oct
  • Hamburger Bahnhof (Installation) // Berlin, GER // 30, 31 Oct, 1 Nov
  • Het Muziektheater // Amsterdam, NL // 6, 8, 9 Nov
  • Bonnie Bird Theatre, Laban // London, UK // 14, 15 Nov
  • Snape Maltings // Aldeburgh, UK // 21, 22 Nov
  • Teatro Comunale // Ferrara, IT // 5 Dec
  • Teatro Sociale // Trento, IT // 7 Dec
  • Teatro Rossini // Civitanova Marche, IT // 9 Dec
  • Lawrence Batley Theatre // Huddersfield, UK // 11 Dec
  • Pavillon Noir // Aix-en-Provence, FR // 15, 16, 17, 18 Jan
  • Elancourt // Paris, FR // 20 Jan
  • University of California // San Diego, USA // 30 Jan
  • National Theatre Rennes // Rennes, FR // 11, 12, 13, 14 Mar
  • Chaillot // Paris, FR // 19, 20, 21 Mar

External links

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