13th Oct 2017

Wayne McGregor works with Wellcome Genome Campus scientists on Autobiography

This is the first in an unfolding series of studies planned by McGregor following the sequencing of his genome.

World-renowned choreographer, Wayne McGregor, has been working with Wellcome Genome Campus Public Engagement and scientists from the Wellcome Genome Campus to prepare for his new work, Autobiography, which premiered at Sadler’s Wells in London on 4th October.

As McGregor explains he has turned “his attention to the body as archive, as he embarks on a cycle of choreographic portraits illuminated by the sequencing of his own genome”. McGregor and his company of dancers visited the Wellcome Genome Campus in the summer to immerse themselves in the world of genomics and biodata.

‘The body is a living archive’: Wayne McGregor on turning his DNA into dance (The Guardian, 3 October 2017)

Autobiography selects from 23 choreographic moments that form a “life library”, reflecting the 23 pairs of chromosomes within a human genome. Every performance of Autobiography is unique; the algorithm selecting and dictating the order of the volumes from the life library. There are 24,000 permutations.

This is the first in an unfolding series of studies planned by McGregor as he explores the potential and the possibility of understanding that can come from sequencing a genome. It’s great example of how culture finds ways to bring new audiences closer to this science, and we look forward to being part of that journey with him.

Autobiography, Company Wayne McGregor. Music by Jlin. Video by Ben Cullen Williams & Andrej Uspenski