Panel discussion on R-Research

Dr. Philip Barnard, Scott deLahunta, Wayne McGregor

Friday, February 26, 2010

A discussion on projects and directions of R-Research – the research branch of Wayne McGregor | Random Dance – which initiates and implements new research collaborations across disciplines including dance, neuroscience, cognitive science, biology, philosophy and technology.

Hélène Lesterlin

Dr. Philip Barnard

Philip Barnard is a program leader at the Medical Research Council’s Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge. Over the course of his career, he has carried out research on how memory, attention, language, body states and emotion work together in the normal healthy, human mind. He is committed to seeing the types of basic cognitive theory developed in scientific laboratories put to good use in the real world. His theoretical model of the architecture of the human mind has been applied to the problems of designing “easy to use” everyday technologies and computer interfaces. He has applied the same theory to help understand and treat emotional disorders like depression, as well using it to account for the way in which human mental and emotional skills have developed over the long-term course of evolution. Dance shares with these other areas of interest an intricate blending of intellectual, communicative, physical and emotional skills. Since 2003, Philip has been collaborating with Wayne McGregor | Random Dance on interdisciplinary research projects with the aim of developing productive synergies between choreographic processes and our knowledge of cognitive neuroscience.

Scott deLahunta

Scott deLahunta works from his base in Amsterdam as a researcher, writer, consultant and organiser on a range of international projects bringing performing arts with a focus on choreography into conjunction with other disciplines and practices. He is currently Senior Research Fellow Coventry University/ R-Research Director, Wayne McGregor | Random Dance and Research Fellow with the ARTI Research Group, Amsterdam School for the Arts. He serves on the editorial boards of Performance Research, Dance Theater Journal and the International Journal of Performance and Digital Media.

Wayne McGregor | Random Dance

Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, founded in 1992, is the instrument upon which McGregor evolved his drastically fast and articulate choreographic style. The company has become a byword for its radical approach to new technology, incorporating animation, digital film, 3D architecture, electronic sound, and virtual dancers into its live choreography. Collaborations with leading multi-disciplinary artists have enriched the company's futurist aesthetic and dramatically enlarged the possibilities of dance. In 2002, Wayne McGregor | Random Dance became Resident Company at Sadler’s Wells.

Technology has also been crucial to WM|RD's aim of delivering dance to the public in new ways. Among the company's groundbreaking projects have been webcasting live performances and exploring broadband (ATM) bi-directional performance wherein two companies perform simultaneously in different parts of the world. It has also incorporated technology into its outreach work, which is high on the creative agenda.

In 2003, McGregor was appointed Artist-in-Residence at the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge. From this unique position, and aided by a select group of scientists, he conducted the background research into the relationship between dance and the mind that resulted in the performances AtaXia (2004), Amu (2005), and Entity (2008) . These art and science collaborations are now consolidated under R-Research.

Wayne McGregor

Wayne McGregor is a multi award-winning British choreographer, renowned for his physically testing choreography and ground-breaking collaborations across dance, film, music, visual art, technology and science. He is the Artistic Director of Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, Resident Company at Sadler's Wells Theater in London; Resident Choreographer of The Royal Ballet, and the first Youth Dance Champion of the United Kingdom. McGregor is also a frequent creator of new work for La Scala, Milan, Paris Opera Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater, San Francisco Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet and English National Ballet. His honors include two Laurence Olivier Awards, an International Theater Institute award, and the Prix Benois de la Danse, Moscow. In 2009 Ballet Tanz named McGregor Choreographer of the Year.

Panel discussion on R-Research
Studio 1—Goodman
February 26, 2010, 6PM