Would like to see more Indian contemporary dance in UK: Wayne McGregor

By Nivedita

New Delhi, Dec 8 (IANS) British contemporary dance guru Wayne McGregor, who has choreographed for Hollywood films like “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them”, “Sing” and “Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire”, says that contemporary dance has its own voice and he would like to see more Indian contemporary dancers in his home country.

“I think it’s hard to talk about dances of diversity but what makes contemporary dance special is that everybody has their own voice in a way and the choreographers have their own voice that is very important.

“I would like to see more Indian contemporary dance in the UK. Obviously we have some amazing contemporary artists there, people like Akram Khan (one of the known contemporary artist in the) UK making really interesting work but would like to see more of it,” McGregor, who was also appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his services to dance, told IANS in an email interview from Bengaluru.

McGregor, a multi-award winning British choreographer and director, is also an Artistic Director and Founder of Studio Wayne McGregor that encompasses his extensive creative collaborations across dance, film, music, visual art, technology and science.

Furthering its commitment towards democratising creative arts in the country and offering Indians exposure to acclaimed international artists, the British Council has collaborated with Studio Wayne McGregor to give Indian audiences a chance to experience contemporary dance choreography.

As part of the collaboration, McGregor’s company of 10 world-class dancers, Company Wayne McGregor, will perform the critically acclaimed dance work FAR in India between November 30 and December 14. They will perform at National Centre for Performing Arts in Mumbai; Chowdiah Memorial Hall in Bengaluru and Kamani Auditorium here during the period.

Ask him what are the memories that he wants to take during his stint in India and he told IANS, “We’re looking forward to see the country but we are also excited for people to come and see the performance. We are hoping that the performance really excites people, hopefully they see dance in a way they haven’t seen before.”

During the tour, his studio is going to deliver 45 educational workshops and masterclasses for participants including dance enthusiasts and professionals across four cities and he says that this is a brilliant way to skill people.

“This is about skilling people and not about teaching dances actually to encourage them to think for themselves, have their own dance from these skills they will be able to do that. It’s about creative techniques,” he said.

As a part of the UK-India Year of Culture 2017 celebrations, Studio Wayne McGregor was commissioned by British Council for Mix the Body, an interactive digital experience to democratize contemporary dance in India, directed by Wayne McGregor.

The collaboration saw the coming together of Studio Wayne McGregor and Attakkalari Dance Company, a registered, public charitable trust formed by Indian artistes from different disciplines to help create contexts for contemporary movement arts.

Asked how he chooses collaborations he said: “It’s an organic process.”

“I feel for collaboration you need to spend time with artists and that’s what we did for our piece and we were very happy with the level of collaboration. Talking about Ben Frost (composer for FAR), I just really loved his work, he’s an amazing composer. What he does is he often takes sound from anywhere and expands it, kind of creates these other worlds, some of them are aggressive, some are very beautiful, some songs, he has written some kinds of perfect noise piece,” he added.

(Nivedita can be contacted at nivedita.s@ians.in)

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