Wayne McGregor announced as Director of Dance @ The Grange, in a partnership with Studio Wayne McGregor, to present exclusive evenings of dance at The Grange Festival Edward Watson, Principal Dancer with The Royal Ballet, announced as first co-curator for 2018 season

The Grange Festival and Studio Wayne McGregor today announced a new partnership to create exclusive evenings of dance for The Grange Festival each season from 2018. It is the first time that a country house opera festival has appointed a director for dance, and the first time that dance becomes a central pillar of country house programming. McGregor will oversee the artistic direction of Dance @ The Grange, each year inviting an acclaimed dance artist to work alongside him to co-curate a programme with world-class dancers exclusively for audiences at The Grange from June 2018. For the inaugural dance season at The Grange Festival, McGregor has invited Edward Watson, Principal Dancer with The Royal Ballet to co-curate the two performances on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 June 2018.

Wayne McGregor says: “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 @ The Grange 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. An evening then of immersive expression, passion and virtuosity, seen through the lens of the dancing body and its relationship to excellent music, all performed by elite dancers at the very top of their game.

“In this first year, I have invited Edward Watson – Principal Dancer with The Royal Ballet to co-curate the evening with me. He will steer the classical repertory choice and perform himself. I have chosen Edward, 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.”

The inaugural programme curated by Wayne McGregor and Edward Watson will include excerpts from McGregor’s thrilling work Atomos, created by Company Wayne McGregor, and featuring a soaring score by neo-classical ambient composers, A Winged Victory For The Sullen, alongside classical iconic ballet pieces performed by world class ballet dancers including Edward Watson.

Michael Chance, Artistic Director of The Grange Festival says: “My vision for The Grange Festival has always been for it to present the very best of the performing arts, not just opera, so I’m thrilled that Wayne has agreed to join us as our Artistic Director of Dance. Few choreographers have been as inventive and inspiring as Wayne so we couldn’t be more excited about our collaboration with him, his company and Edward Watson from The Royal Ballet. Dance and opera have always been interlinked, not just with dance being an integral part of many operas but for their shared use of music, movement and the human body to express profound emotions.”

The inaugural season of The Grange Festival opens on 7 June 2017 with a new production of Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, with musical direction by Michael Chance, directed by Tim Supple; Bizet’s Carmen, conducted by Jean-Luc Tingaud and directed by Annabel Arden; and Britten’s Albert Herring, conducted by Steuart Bedford and directed by John Copley.

 

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