'I would like to create an evening that places seminal pieces of our heritage repertory with newly created work'
Wayne McGregor & Edward Watson
The Grange is a wonderful venue for dance, and audiences will be able to experience the power and visceral nature of the performers so close-up. I’m delighted to be the Director of DANCE@THEGRANGE™ and look forward to sharing uniquely made performances especially for the festival. It has been a long-held dream of mine to curate an evening of iconic classical and modern ballet alongside incredible contemporary dance whilst at the same time trying to avoid the traditional ‘gala’ format. I would like to create an evening that places seminal pieces of our heritage repertory with newly created work of innovative intensity where physicality flows seamlessly together and where each of the works is individually distinct and opens the audiences’ eyes to the diversity and thrill of the human form. In this first year, I have invited Edward Watson – Principal Dancer of The Royal Ballet – to co-curate the evening with me to steer the classical repertory choice. I have chosen Ed because he is a phenomenal dancer and incredible artist, and has an enquiring mind. We have worked together for over 16 years and this project seems like a perfect moment to join forces and explore a new direction.
So many have longed to see world class dance at The Grange. We open the 2018 Festival with Dance – an important event in the UK’s cultural diary.
Dance@TheGrange is performed by Company Wayne McGregor, dancers from The Royal Ballet and guest artists including Alessandra Ferri and Marianela Nunez, with music performance by pianist Joanna MacGregor.
Director of Dance
Co-Curator of Dance
English choreographer Wayne McGregor was appointed Resident Choreographer of The Royal Ballet in 2006, becoming the first contemporary choreographer to hold the post. His many works for The Royal Ballet include Multiverse, Obsidian Tear, Woolf Works, Tetractys, Raven Girl, Ambar, ‘Machina’ (Metamorphosis: Titian 2012), Carbon Life, Live Fire Exercise, Limen, Infra, Nimbus, Chroma, Engram, Qualia and Symbiont(s). He directed and choreographed Dido and Aeneas and Acis and Galatea for The Royal Ballet and The Royal Opera. He curated Deloitte Ignite 2008, and directs Draft Works, an annual celebration of developing choreographic talent within the Company.
McGregor was born in Stockport and studied at Bretton Hall, West Yorkshire, and the José Limón School, New York. In 1992 he founded Studio Wayne McGregor, a resident company of Sadler’s Wells and now based in Here East in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. His interest in cross-discipline collaboration has seen him work across dance, film, music, visual art, technology and science. McGregor has created works for Paris Opera Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, New York City Ballet, Australian Ballet, English National Ballet, NDT1 and Rambert, among others. His works are also in the repertories of such leading companies as the Bolshoi, Royal Danish Ballet, Boston Ballet and Joffrey Ballet. He has directed movement for theatre and film, including Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Sing, and music videos, including the Grammy-nominated Lotus Flower for Radiohead.
In 2012 McGregor delivered a TED talk on the choreographic process and in 2013 presented the exhibition Thinking with the Body at the Wellcome Collection. He was appointed a CBE in 2011.
English dancer Edward Watson is a Principal of The Royal Ballet. His repertory with the Company includes major roles in works by Frederick Ashton and Kenneth MacMillan, and numerous role creations for choreographers including Wayne McGregor, Christopher Wheeldon and Alexei Ratmansky.
Watson was born in Bromley, South London. He trained at The Royal Ballet School and graduated into The Royal Ballet in 1994 and was promoted to Principal in 2005. His many role creations for McGregor include in Symbiont(s), Qualia, Chroma, Infra, Limen, Carbon Life, Raven Girl, Tetractys, Woolf Works, Obsidian Tearand Multiverse, and for Wheeldon Lewis Carroll/The White Rabbit (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland), Leontes (The Winter’s Tale) and John Singer Sargent (Strapless). Watson has worked with numerous other choreographers, including Siobhan Davies, David Dawson, Javier De Frutos, Alastair Marriott, Cathy Marston, Ashley Page and Arthur Pita.
His numerous awards include the 2012 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance, the 2015 Benois de la danse and Critics’ Circle Awards in 2001 and 2008. He was awarded an MBE in 2015.