Exhibition preview: Thinking with the Body: Mind and Movement in the work of Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, Wellcome Collection, London, September 19 – October 27 2013
Despite his company’s reputation for elastic-limbed brilliance, Wayne McGregor’s list of collaborators since 2000 still makes for impressive reading: former Turner Prize winner Mark Wallinger, Ivor Novello-notching composer John Taverner and luminous shape-throwers rAndom International show why McGregor is not your average choreographer.
His inroads into science are even more ambitious. Aiming to find the intersection between dance, technology and science, Random Dance have worked with Phil Barnard, a theoretical cognitive scientist, to create a series of one-on-one exercises called Choreographic Thinking Tools for this exhibition, part of the Wellcome’s interim programme during a £17.5 million redevelopment.
Following 12 dance thinking principles, visitors can experience “guided imagination” and interact with the exhibits, all in front of a layered mass installation of images and footage by David Kirsh, a fellow cognitive researcher who has explored the patterns of communication between choreographers and dancers.
There’s even a sneak peek of McGregor’s next show. Atomos has been created with a human-scale 3D animation on a large plasma screen, fed with stimuli by an anthropologist and two digital artists in pursuit of kinaesthetic responses.
In an empty room, Random call on Ben Frost, the composer of a powerful score for their 2010 production, Far. Frost has made a sound installation described as “intense” and a “space of imagination”, leading to a final room broadcasting large-scale film footage from Atomos.
“Working with Wellcome has been a wonderful opportunity to share our collaborative research work, both process and results, with new audiences,” says Scott deLahunta, a research director at the dance group.
“The research the exhibition explores is an integral part of our experimental practice and it has been fascinating for us to participate in the company's project to make the results more widely accessible.
"Our aim has been to enhance and generate new understandings of choreographic practice.”
- Open 10am-6pm (10pm Thursday, 11am-6pm Sunday, closed Monday). Admission free. Follow the Collection on Twitter @ExploreWellcome.
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