Studio Wayne McGregor launches major new programme at Here East to avoid losing a generation of freelance dance talent
- Studio Wayne McGregor has been running RESET 2020 – a series of unique initiatives to support professional freelance dancers during this period of disruption for the performing arts
- RESET 2020 is taking place at Delancey’s Here East, London’s tech and innovation campus
- The programme has received support from Arts Council England, The Garrick Charitable Trust, Here East, Harlequin Floors, The Royal Ballet and Sadler’s Wells
Studio Wayne McGregor has developed and launched a series of unique initiatives – RESET 2020 – to support professional freelance dancers in the wake of the disruption caused by COVID-19.
RESET 2020 is being hosted at Delancey’s Here East, London’s fastest-growing innovation campus and launchpad for the capital’s most impactful businesses, technologies and creatives. Here East is the East London home to the creative engine for renowned choreographer and director Wayne McGregor CBE and has provided the studio space for free.
The aim of the initiative – the only one of its kind across the UK – is to ensure that a generation of professional dancers is not set back or lost completely due to the effects of the pandemic.
RESET 2020 also demonstrates the importance of cross-sector collaboration and generosity in ensuring the creative industries can thrive.
The programme is being delivered by Company Wayne McGregor dancers and teachers drawn from its world-class company, and diverse pool of teachers and trainers.
Commencing in August 2020, RESET 2020 offers three different training programmes in accordance with experience levels. The initiative also encompasses mentoring support from peers, and access to talks on various aspects of being a freelance artist, including finance, tax, marketing, fundraising, producing, health and wellbeing and nutrition.
The creative industries have been particularly hit hard by COVID-19, especially the performing arts sector which has suffered dramatically due to the closure of theatres and music venues. Despite the announcement of a £1.5bn support package from the government in July, there are still fears from the industry that long-established cultural institutions – theatres, venues, and dance companies – are not receiving the funding they need to survive this period. Furthermore, the impact on employment is set to be felt twice as hard by creative freelancers with 287,000 freelance roles expected to be terminated by the end of 2020.
When it comes to collaboration and generosity across industries, Studio Wayne McGregor has received support from Arts Council England and The Garrick Charitable Trust, making the initiative possible. Here East has provided the space for the programme for free on campus, while Sadler’s Wells, Harlequin Floors and The Royal Ballet have donated specialist equipment needed to kit out the space.
For example, Harlequin Floors has provided their new dancefloor, Harlequin Cascade with BioCote Antimicrobial Protection, for the project. This will ensure a higher level of safety and enable dancers to perform floorwork– an important aspect of contemporary dance – with confidence that their health is a priority.
Gavin Poole, CEO of Here East, comments: “The vision for Here East was to create a space that enabled collaboration and innovation across the industries, and to support the development of a diverse array of careers. Studio Wayne McGregor’s work brings this approach to life. We are incredibly proud to be home to such a leading light in the arts and creative industries.”
“The versatility of the Here East campus infrastructure means we can offer space to meet the needs of our tenants, from scaling and growth, to putting in place programmes and initiatives in reaction to the rapidly-changing world around us.”
Wayne McGregor, founder of Studio Wayne McGregor, comments: “There was an urgent need for RESET 2020! Not only a bespoke programme to re energise our own company of dancers after months of lonely training at home but also as a way to champion Independent dance artists by sharing our resources with the wider freelance community who have been so badly affected by the pandemic and lockdown.”
“Nothing can replace the experience of training in a studio alongside other fantastic talents and we have developed a programme that offers technique classes with world class teachers alongside professional development talks and workshops to inspire.”
“We now need to ensure that this critical maintenance and professional development series continues throughout the Covid crisis and allow all of our elite athletes access to this art form specific nourishment. Without the dancer there is no dance.”
Steve Green, Harlequin Group Marketing Director, comments: “COVID-19 has disrupted the dance industry significantly. In these difficult times, it is more important than ever to focus on improving hygiene in the dance studio, so we are launching our new Harlequin Cascade with built-in antibacterial protection.
“In the current climate we need to work together to ensure we support and champion the artists within the dance community. We are delighted to be able to play a part in this through our involvement in Studio Wayne McGregor’s RESET 2020 programme at Here East.”
Here East is designed to foster collaboration, allowing its community to scale and grow at pace. Tenants include BT Sport, Plexal, Fiit.tv, Sports Interactive, Ford Smart Mobility, Matchesfashion and The Trampery, who provide 21 studios for local artists, businesses and designers on the Gantry.
With 75 per cent of the campus let to companies spanning startups, academic institutions and global corporates, Here East, and the onsite innovation centre Plexal, has become London’s fastest-growing cluster for esports, micro-mobility and the creative industries. The campus is now home to a community of 4,500 people working and studying on the campus, and attracted 95,678 visitors over the last 12 months.
About Here East
Here East is a catalyst for growth and London’s fastest-growing innovation campus. Located at the heart of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, it is a launchpad for innovation. The former Press and Broadcast Centre for the Olympic Games, has been transformed into a thriving technology driven community. Here East is home to three of the fastest growing clusters in the capital: esports, cybersecurity and the creative sectors. Tenants include: BT Sports, Plexal (Here East’s innovation centre), Fiit.tv, Sports Interactive, Ford Smart Mobility, Studio Wayne McGregor, Matchesfashion and The Trampery who provide 21 studios for local artists, businesses and designers on the Gantry. The 1.2 million sq ft campus is home to over 4,500 academics and innovators, and is designed to foster collaboration, allowing tenants to collaborate, scale and grow at pace. A multi-award winning project for design, marketing, eco-system growth, socialimpact and sustainability, Here East is owned by clients of Delancey, a specialist real estate investment advisory company.
About Studio Wayne McGregor
Studio Wayne McGregor is the creative engine for choreographer and director Wayne McGregor, now in its 25th year. It encompasses his ensemble of world-class dancers, Company Wayne McGregor; a portfolio of international commissions and artistic collaborations across genres including dance, visual arts, VR, film, theatre and opera; a highly specialized programme of creative learning for individuals and communities; artist development initiatives; and collaborative research projects across the interface of the arts with science, technology and academic research. Studio Wayne McGregor has an unparalleled reputation for transformative approaches to how dance is taught, learned and talked about. Learning and engagement projects are carefully devised to reflect the professional artistic processes that Wayne McGregor uses with his own company in the studio, ensuring that all who participate in our projects experience cutting edge, high quality practice. The focus always lies in empowering individuals to develop their own creative skills, and all of the programmes are underpinned by continued scientific research into movement and creativity, innate human properties which have been a fascination in McGregor’s creative thinking for more than two decades. Over 100,000 people of all ages and walks of life have so far participated in learning and engagement projects across the UK and internationally, from school children to adults with no prior experience of dance, students in training to professional dancers.
Wayne McGregor CBE is a multi-award winning choreographer and director. He is Artistic Director of Studio Wayne McGregor, Resident Choreographer at The Royal Ballet, and is commissioned for international ballet companies, film (The Legend of Tarzan, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them), music videos (Radiohead, Thom Yorke, The Chemical Brothers), fashion shows (Gareth Pugh at London Fashion Week 2017), campaigns (everyBODY for Selfridges) and TV (Brit Awards). McGregor is Professor of Choreography at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, has an Honorary Doctor of Science from Plymouth University, an Honorary Doctor of Letters from University of Leeds, and is part of the Circle of Cultural Fellows at King’s College London. In 2017 he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the British Science Association. In 2011 McGregor was awarded a CBE for Services to Dance.
Harlequin is the world leader in advanced technology floors for the performing arts. Established in the UK over 40 years ago, Harlequin remains the industry choice for the world’s most prestigious dance and performing arts companies, theatres, venues and schools, production companies and global events. Harlequin’s experience and reputation are founded on the design, manufacture and supply of a range of high quality portable and permanent sprung and vinyl floors chosen by the world’s leading venues – from the Royal Opera House to the Bolshoi Theatre, the Paris Opera Ballet to the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Harlequin is the global leader in its field with offices in Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific.