Turner Prize And Olivier Award Winner Team Up For Super Ballet

Mark Wallinger and Wayne McGregor UNDANCE Sadler’s Wells

The world premiere of Olivier Award choreographer Wayne McGregor and the Turner Prize winning artist Mark Wallinger’s new ballet, UNDANCE opens at Sadler’s Wells 1-3 December. McGregor was described by the NY Times as “one of the most celebrated and sought-after choreographers of his generation”. The Ballet is Inspired by the American sculptor Richard Serra’s List of Verbs and the work of photographer Eadweard J. Muybridge is about undoing, unraveling, and unwinding. “I thought it would be interesting to enact these action verbs – like To Roll, To Wrap, To Slide – and not know where they are going but just do them and see what comes up – Undo them” says; McGregor. Danced by ten breathtaking performers from McGregor’s Random Dance, with a brand new bluesy, action-filled score by internationally acclaimed composer Mark-Anthony Turnage (Anna Nicole), UNDANCE features a set by Turner prize-winning visual artist Mark Wallinger, costumes by Moritz Junge and lighting by Lucy Carter. For the first part of the evening, McGregor directs mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly, immersing her in a spectacular 3D environment created by New York digital artists OpenEnded Group – in a new staging of Turnage’s emotional chamber opera Twice Through the Heart. Both works feature a live orchestra, handpicked by Mark-Anthony Turnage and conducted by Tim Murray. 

McGregor was born in Stockport, England, in 1970. He studied dance at Bretton Hall College of the University of Leeds and at the José Limon School in New York. In 1992 he was appointed Choreographer-in-Residence at The Place, London, and in the same year he founded his own company, Wayne McGregor Random Dance. McGregor evolved what was to become his distinctive choreographic style on Random Dance.

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. In 2001 it was invited to be the first resident company at the new Sadler’s Wells.

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. McGregor was the first to curate, in September 2008, the 3-day long new festival for the Royal Opera House, Deloitte Ignite. This came 18 months after his successful Royal Opera House production Chroma (2006).

Wallinger was Born in Chigwell, Essex in 1959, he lives and works in London. His best known works include: A Real Work of Art, a racehorse, which Wallinger bought in 1993 and entered in the flat racing season in 1994; Ecce Homo, a life-size sculpture of Christ that occupied the Fourth Plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square (1999); and State Britain, a meticulous recreation of peace campaigner Brian Haw’s Parliament Square protest for the Duveen Galleries at Tate Britain (2007). He was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1995, which he subsequently won in 2007. He also represented Britain at the 49th Venice Biennale in 2001. In 2009 his design for a sculpture of a giant white horse was selected for the Ebbsfleet Landmark commission. Also last year, his Hayward Touring exhibition Mark Wallinger curates: The Russian Linesman was presented at the Hayward Gallery, Leeds Art Gallery and Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea.
In April 2011 it was announced that Mark would team up with fellow Turner Prize winner Chris Ofili for a special Olympic 2012 project. The pair are to collaborate with the Royal Ballet and the National Gallery to create a piece based on 3 works by the Renaissance painter Titian.

This new full-length ballet,Undance premiering at Sadler’s Wells in early December is designed by Mark Wallinger The 2007 Turner Prize winner in collaboration with internationally acclaimed composer Mark-Anthony Turnage, Olivier Award-winning choreographer Wayne McGregor (Random Dance), lighting designer Lucy Carter, and costumer Moritz Junge to create a brand new choreographic work. The piece will be performed in a visual world created by Wallinger and marks the first new work in Sadler’s Wells Composer Series.


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