Wayne McGregor, CBE

Biography

Choreographer, MADDADDAM

Born in 1970, Wayne McGregor CBE is a multi-award-winning British choreographer and director, internationally renowned for trailblazing innovations in performance that have radically redefined dance in the modern era. Driven by an insatiable curiosity about movement and its creative potentials, his experiments have led him into collaborative dialogue with an array of artistic forms, scientific disciplines and technological interventions. The startling and multi-dimensional works resulting from these interactions have ensured Wayne’s position at the cutting edge of contemporary arts for over 25 years.

Wayne is Artistic Director of Studio Wayne McGregor, a creative nexus that pushes the frontiers of physical intelligence through dance, design and technology. His work is rooted in dance, yet encompasses a variety of genres including technology, visual art, film, opera and education, as well as Company Wayne McGregor, his own touring company of dancers. Studio Wayne McGregor supports an eclectic network of creators, including – but not limited to – dancers, writers, composers, coders, scientists and software engineers. The space is based at Here East in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and is designed to spark creativity, expression and making.

Company Wayne McGregor is Wayne’s ensemble of highly skilled dancers. Founded in 1993, this was the original instrument through which he evolved his distinctive visual style, revealing the movement possibilities of the body in ever more precise degrees of articulation. Wayne has made over 30 works for the company and today it continues to be his laboratory for ambitious and experimental new choreography, touring his work across the UK and around the world. Company Wayne McGregor is Resident Company at Sadler’s Wells, London.

Wayne is Resident Choreographer at The Royal Ballet, where his productions reconfigure the classical language, and is the Director of Dance for the Venice Biennale until 2024. He is also regularly commissioned by and has works in the repertories of the most important ballet companies in the world, including Paris Opera Ballet, New York City Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, NDT 1, Australian Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet and San Francisco Ballet.

He is in demand as a choreographer for theatre (Old Vic, National Theatre, Royal Court) opera (La Scala/Royal Opera, ENO), film (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, The Legend of Tarzan, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them 1 & 2, Sing, Mary Queen of Scots, Audrey), music videos (Radiohead, Thom Yorke, The Chemical Brothers), fashion shows (Soma for COS, Gareth Pugh at London and Paris Fashion Week, Nick Knight for SHOWstudio) campaigns (everyBODY for Selfridges, Boots No 7) and TV (The 2016 Brit Awards Opening Sequence, Paloma Faith’s Brit Awards performance 2015). Some of the long list of artists who have partnered with McGregor through more than twenty years of collaborative multi-disciplinary work include John Tavener, Audrey Niffenegger, Jamie xx, Max Richter, Jlin, Olafur Eliasson, Ben Frost, Kaija Saariaho, Thom Yorke, Mark Wallinger, Random International, Jon Hopkins, John Pawson and Mark-Anthony Turnage.

More recently, Wayne premiered The Dante Project for The Royal Ballet where he collaborated with composer Thomas Ad├Ęs on a virtuoso new score and celebrated visual artist Tacita Dean on set and costume design. The highly anticipated ABBA Voyage concert, with choreography by Wayne McGregor, will premiere in May 2022, and in July 2002, he will stage a new production for the Ballet Company of Teatro alla Scala di Milano: Les Noces (world premiere) AfteRite (Italian Premiere). Later in the year, Wayne will bring Margaret Atwood’s post-apocalyptic vision to the stage in a three-act ballet MADDADDAM based on the writer’s acclaimed trilogy of novels: 'Oryx and Crake', 'The Year of the Flood' and 'MaddAddam'. Co-commissioned by The National Ballet of Canada and The Royal Ballet, MADDADDAM will feature a specially commissioned score from Max Richter, lighting by Lucy Carter, design by We Not I, film by Ravi Deepres, and dramaturgy by Uzma Hameed, reuniting the creative collaborators from McGregor’s Olivier Award winning ballet Woolf Works.

Wayne is Professor of Choreography at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, has Honorary Doctorates from Plymouth University, University of Leeds, University of Chester, and UAL and is part of the Circle of Cultural Fellows at King’s College London. In 2017 he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the British Science Association. Wayne topped the list for dance in The Progress 1000 celebration of London’s most influential people in 2018.

Wayne's work has earned him a multitude of awards including 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 and in 2021 was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Prix de Lausanne.