Saturday, February 16, 2019

Company Wayne McGregor's "Autobiography" US Tour with JLIN: Feb 7 - Mar 3

Returning stateside for a brief series of domestic dates after 2017's tour of "Atomos", Company Wayne McGregor will arrive at The Moore with a dance portrait illuminated by the sequencing of choreographer's own genome. The most recent of the company's media-spanning collaborations, "Autobiography" enlists lighting designer Lucy Carter, costume artist Aitor Throup, dramaturg by Uzma Hameed, Ben Cullen Williams, winner of the 2018 D&AD Award for spatial design, and music and sound supplied by Jerrilynn Patton. Approaching "The Body as a Living Archive", Company Wayne McGregor manifests in the vehicle of "'Autobiography', Dance as Philosophical Process". By way of process, before each performance a custom algorithm sifts the data of his sequenced genome, from this a variant assembly of the dance's 23 sections is composed. The title and number of each section are projected in the visual array on stage as that section starts, the titles evocative of fundamental aspects of life; Nurture, Aging, Time, Sleep, Nature. By "Dancing the Genome in Wayne McGregor’s ‘Autobiography’", in this way each performance is different, sequentially and thematically, as each arrangement is decoupled and reshuffled from those around it. As with previous works by the company, their newest is a transmedia collaboration fusing multiple disciplines into a dynamic, sensory, audiovisual space in which the performance unfolds.

Enlisting footwork artist Jerrilynn Patton, and her music as JLIN, the custom score for "Autobiography" reigns in aspects of her propulsive and kinetic "Unleashing of Dark Energy on Footwork". As explored in Simon Reynolds discussion with Patton for The Guardian, there is more to this music of this multidisciplinary "Woman of Steel" than form bent in service to dancefloor functionality. Her conversation in The Quietus Peer Reviewed series, in which "JLIN Interviews Max Richter", is equally revealing. McGregor's process in collaboration is probably detailed best in the Q&A with The Guardian around the time of the tour for 2015's "Tree of Codes", produced with musician Jamie XX, and the "Islands and Origami" of award-winning visual and media artist Olafur Eliasson. "Tree of Codes" physical and technological "Explosion of Energy in A Sea of More" is representative McGregor's last half-decade of kinetic dance, precision lighting design, audiovisual mediascapes, and cutting edge sets and decors. Soundtracked by artists from the Warp Records roster, including Clark, Gaika, Mark Pritchard, and Lorenzo Senni, the themes of engagement with technology reached a pinnacle with 2017's "+/- Human". Possibly the most explicit of his explorations of the relationships between body and mind, science and art, human and the technological, "In ‘+/- Human,’ It's Just Us and Our Orblike Shadows".

On works like "Infra", "FAR" and "Azimuth", repeat collaborators have also been found in the power electronics and electro-acoustic music of Icelandic artist, Ben Frost and neoclassical composer, Max Richter. Not limited to simply scoring dance pieces, their meetings have also embraced cutting edge installation and transmedia works found in McGregor's early association with Random International. Their "Future Self" for MADE, was one of the first in a series of successful location-specific collaborations featuring a score supplied by Richter. It's London run at The Barbican over the course of the 2012 Frieze Art Fair, saw a succession of live performances that were met with enthusiasm in the pages of the BBC and a glowing review from The Guardian. Following immediately on this set of collaborations, the trio's "Rain Room" made it's debut again at The Barbican London, to then come stateside to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and MoMA's PS1 as part of "EXPO 1: New York". At the former, the installation ran as part of a group exhibition of environmental works on ecological challenges in the context of the economic and sociopolitical instability. Generating more than a bit of a sensation, favorable press and public response, "Rain Room"'s time at PS1 was covered in The New York Times "Steamy Wait Before a Walk in a Museum’s Rain". With it's following run in Los Angeles featured by the LA Times, "Inside LACMA's Rain Room: An indoor Storm Where You Won't Get Wet".