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Random Dance Company - "AtaXia"
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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sat May 29, 2004 2:01 am ]
Post subject:  Random Dance Company - "AtaXia"

Press Release

<img src="" alt="" />
<small>Random Dance, image Ravi Deepres</small>

Random Dance World Premiere

Sadler's Wells, Thursday 3rd-Saturday 5th June, 7.30pm


[Greek ataxi, disorder : a-, not; see a=AD1 + taxis,]

Random Dance, company in residence at Sadler's Wells, has become a creative
frontrunner on the British and international dance scene, renowned for its
innovative approach to dance

Directed by multi-award winning choreographer Wayne McGregor, AtaXia follows
the success of Random's Nemesis and comes to the stage after McGregor's
recently lauded commissions for Rambert, ENB and The Royal Ballet.

AtaXia redraws the traditional hierarchies of dance to generate a fresh and
radical look at human physicality. Deliberately interfering with Random's
sophisticated ability to co-ordinate muscular movement, AtaXia explores a
dislocating loss of control.

Drawing on a new team of experts from the diverse worlds of neuroscience,
composition, psychology, design, and computer programming, AtaXia challenges
the very fabric of collaboration. It is a creative friction that confounds

The revolutionary band ICEBREAKER will be performing music live, by Michael

Sadler's Wells, Thursday 3rd-Saturday 5th June, 7.30pm

To book tickets call 0870 737 7737, or visit

"Ever curious, ever inventive,
Wayne McGregor is a true modern choreographer"
Ismene Brown, The Daily Telegraph

"Icebreaker's performers are a terrific asset.
They are well drilled and play with a passionate commitment
as well as the requisite and highly demading rythmic precision..."
Keith Potter, The Independent

"Ambitiously conceived, superbly danced"
Judith Mackrell, The Guardian

"Wayne McGregor is rightly regarded as the dance maker
who has bestowed new international lustre to British dance"
Giannandrea Poesio, Spectator

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sat May 29, 2004 3:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Random Dance Company - "AtaXia"

<img src="" alt="" />

<big>SPECIAL OFFER</big>

Random Dance with Icebreaker

Sadler's Wells

Performances: Thu 3 - Sat 5 June @ 7.30pm
Sadler's Wells, Rosebery Avenue, Islington, London EC1 (closest Tube: Angel)

Best seats available for £10 (normally up to £22)

Just call the ticket office on 0870 737 7737 and quote 'Random £10 offer'.*

"His work can be heartstoppingly beautiful as the dancers reach for the very limits of what their bodies can do" - What's On

To see this flyer on-line, go to

Random Dance, resident company of Sadler's Wells, is renowned for combining the very latest movements in new technology with dance, using animation, digital film, 3d architecture, electronic sound and virtual dancers.

Their latest work, AtaXia [Greek ataxi, disorder; a-, not; see a-1 + taxis,], expands upon this to create a fresh look at human physicality.

Working with psychologists at Cambridge University, the company explored the way dancers move and the relationship between the brain and behaviour. Consulting experts from the diverse worlds of neuroscience, virtual design, spatial architecture and computer programming, Wayne McGregor has created a piece that challenges the dancer's usually sophisticated ability to co-ordinate movement, throwing new light onto the investigation of the human body, its impulses, mechanisms and capabilities.

Music by Michael Gordon will be performed live by the group Icebreaker.

For more information go to

*Offer valid Thu 3 - Sat 5 June @ 7.30pm. Offer is subject to availability and not valid on Superseats, retrospectively or in conjunction with any other offer.

<small>[ 29 May 2004, 05:38 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  kurinuku [ Fri Jun 04, 2004 4:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Random Dance Company - "AtaXia"

Random Dance

The Guardian
June 4, 2004

In Wayne McGregor's latest work there is a moment, in the middle, when the stage seems to dissolve into an electric brain storm. Pulsing currents of brightly coloured light stream in disorienting patterns around the space. The music judders and strains as if several clashing scores were being played at the same time.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri Jun 04, 2004 5:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Random Dance Company - "AtaXia"

I share Judith Mackrell's enthusiasm for this work with its visual power and the exploration of new movement ideas inspired by McGregor's work with psychologists at Cambridge University. Add to that some very fine dancing and you have a recipe that held my interest through the 70 minute performance.

It's only fair to point out that post-performance audience opinions varied from, "Loved it," to "Hated it."

Today and tomorrow, Saturday are the final nights of the London run. I just checked and there is seat availability with the special offer in the posting above still valid:

Best seats available for £10 (normally up to £22)

Just call the ticket office on 0870 737 7737 and quote 'Random £10 offer'.

<small>[ 04 June 2004, 10:39 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri Jun 04, 2004 9:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Random Dance Company - "AtaXia"

press release

**** Random Dance on Newsnight Review this evening****

Following the successful World Premiere of AtaXia at Sadler's Wells last night, the performance is being featured on Newsnight Review at 11pm tonight.

Newsnight Review is BBC Two's weekly cultural round-up. The panelists tonight are Deborah Bull, Artistic Director of ROH2 at the Royal Opera House; Playwright and critic Bonnie Greer and Charles Saumarez Smith, Director of the National Portrait Gallery.

Thanks to all of you who were able to attend and support the company last night.
AtaXia continues at Sadler's Wells tonight, Friday 4th June and Saturday 5th June at 7.30pm.
To book tickets call 0870 737 7737

"a new language for the stage"
"stunningly conceived and executed...a choreographic first"
Judith Mackrell, The Guardian

<small>[ 04 June 2004, 11:13 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  rhthymcloud [ Sat Jun 05, 2004 4:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Random Dance Company - "AtaXia"

Yea saw the piece last and thought it was fantastic. I saw Rambert the week before and was a little disapointed with the lack of innovation in the modern pieces, (though I think this had something to do with the whole programme being based on reflection of the past). The Random performance however was everything I think modern dance should be. It was new, innovative, artistic but yet sensitive. At moments I did feel it possibly dragged somewhat but this could be just to build you up to what was to follow. Having said that there were moments which were incredible and gave you goose pimples up your spine. It was a completly emotional and psychological rolarcoaster. Interesting to see wayne combining a bit of classical technique with his trade mark back movements. Had he of dropped some guitar ballads in the music then built it back up again to trance it would of been all the more powerful. :cool:

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sat Jun 05, 2004 7:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Random Dance Company - "AtaXia"

Hi rhythmcloud and welcome to CriticalDance. Thanks for your thoughts on "AtaXia" and I'm looking forward to your comments in the weeks and months ahead.

Author:  Alex R [ Sat Jun 05, 2004 1:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Random Dance Company - "AtaXia"

Before seeing AtaXia yesterday my only experience of Wayne McGregor was PreSentient which i saw Rambert perform last year, and was impressed by it so i had high expectations as i walked into Sadlers Wells. I wasn't disappointed when the screen went up and the music started pulsating out and 2 dancers starting a fast paced duo. it was clear immediately of the link with Ataxia, the dancers occasionally shuddering, one of their limbs moving uncontrollably, or not being able to move their legs. all this was exhilarating to watch, but i felt that it went on for just a bit too long before the music changed and we moved into another section of the dance. also, although it was clear that all the dancers were highly skilled, when 8 of them were dancing in unison, they were usually out of time with each other and it just looked messy.
in the next section screens of clear perspex were lowered onto the stage. i couldn't see the point of those. the dancers then followed pathways of light, which i felt was good to watch.
towards the middle of the dance i finally got to see some typical McGregor: the dancers each dancing in a square of light, rarely leaving their own space. this i found effective and an interesting idea.
then the piece got dark. UV light was used to create an eiree feel, helped with a long drone and wierd sounds from the so far excellent music, and all the dancers lay chillingly still on the stage, almost as if dead. then we got to see some projected images, something i had been eagerly waiting for after seeing video clips of Nemesis on the Random website. and it didn't disappoint! a 10 minute film consisting of hundreds of random images quickly flashing on the screen with captions such as 'I'm the erasor of love' (I assume that to be ataxia personified), which i later learned was a dream sequence. all but one of the dancers then slowly walked offstage. several colourful images continued to flash on the stage, successfully creating a feel of disorder. after that the perspex screens came down again but this time half of each of them were translucent, and the dancers were therefore constantly changing from being blurred and unblurred. i was impressed with the idea, but just didn't think it was as effective as it could have been.
for the finale the black backdrop slowly moved up to reveal a bright white backdrop, which turned the dancers into silouettes, which again i thought was clever and effective. the piece did finish very suddenly and the audience were not sure for a few seconds if it was in fact over or not.
the evening finished with a talk by Wayne McGregor, Alistair Spalding, and one of the ataxia sufferers that McGregor worked with, which was very informative and gave us the chance to ask McGregor about his methods and ideas.
overall, an extremely enjoyable evening, i was very impressed with the company and the music, and i eagerly await McGregor's next project!
PS just to add a contrasting view to the post two before this one, i though Rambert did a superb performance last week!

<small>[ 05 June 2004, 03:46 PM: Message edited by: Alex R ]</small>

Author:  beat_bandit [ Sat Jun 05, 2004 5:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Random Dance Company - "AtaXia"

Alex R, you write about the “messy” scene where the dancers look as if they are not at unison as they should. That was intentional, at that point also the music has an out-of-tempo delay of maybe 1/3 of beat.

<small>[ 06 June 2004, 05:31 AM: Message edited by: daniel ]</small>

Author:  Alex R [ Sun Jun 06, 2004 5:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Random Dance Company - "AtaXia"

that's a fair point, but although it may have been intentional, i still think it looked untidy, but that's just my opinion, and it certainly did not ruin the show for me.

Author:  Juliasw [ Mon Jun 07, 2004 5:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Random Dance Company - "AtaXia"

Random Dance – AtaXia
World Premier at Sadler’s Wells on 3 June 2004
Reviewed by Julia Skene-Wenzel

Neon lights are flashing, limbs are cutting through space and moments of suspension are broken, by outbursts of flickering movements -- two bodies open the stage for ‘AtaXia’.

Deriving from the Greek word a taxis, meaning without order or in-co-ordination, it also refers to a medical dysfunction of muscular response. Following a six month research fellowship with the Cambridge University, Wayne McGregor and his company have explored the relationship between the brain and behaviour in dancers. Cognitive psychology and neuroscience have allowed McGregor to create a new language, by examining the implications of states of dislocation and loss of control.

The result is a daring piece of choreography that challenges the highly skilled dance body, allowing chaos and disorder to interrupt sophisticated movement in mid-flow. Spiralling and propelling his dancers across the stage, McGregor is not holding back. From the opening scene to its final moment, patterns are shifting and changing, solos contest duets, duets are swept away by group sections and all are mounting into a physical and emotional marathon of relentless energy. Supported and confronted by Michael Gordon’s modernist score, formations and shapes are stretched, twisted and driven by an invisible force, pushing the ten dancers to their absolute limit. Icebreaker’s delivery of ‘Trance’ is flawless and keeps the audience and the piece on a constant edge, while the collaboration of John Warwicker, Ursula Bombshell and Lucy Carter turns the stage into an out-of-world landscape -- colourful images of electric brainwaves are pulsing from mirrored walls, milky glass screens temporarily blur our perception and UV light allows bodies to disappear and illuminated shirts to dance. Combining neuroscience, virtual design, spatial architecture and computer programming, McGregor is following Random’s trademark of infusing dance with new technology; but by questioning, extending and pushing his movement vocabulary into new territories, he also defies its limitations.

‘AtaXia’ is overwhelming in its physicality and the eventual total exhaustion of the dancers underlines this spectacle with a painful reminder of reality. The beauty and significance of the design, together with the bold striving for new choreographic forms, elevate this piece to the cutting edge of today’s contemporary dance scene.

<small>[ 09 June 2004, 02:23 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  kurinuku [ Mon Jun 07, 2004 6:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Random Dance Company - "AtaXia"

Dance: AtaXia

By Clement Crisp
June 7, 2004

As we have seen over the past decade, MacGregor's choreography is concerned with the possibilities of extremes of physicality, hard-driven, shaped into stage-action. The result has been movement of undeniable force.

Author:  kurinuku [ Mon Jun 07, 2004 7:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Random Dance Company - "AtaXia"

He's got it all under control

The Observer
June 6, 2004

With Ataxia, Wayne McGregor has taken his Random Dance company onto an altogether different level. For him, dance has been a portal to a parallel world, out there in cyberspace. He has imagined how a mutant might set about mating or surviving; he has experimented with pointe shoes and prostheses, basic anatomy and virtual reality.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Tue Jun 08, 2004 12:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Random Dance Company - "AtaXia"

Thanks to everyone for their comments. One thing's for sure, "AtaXia" has certainly created a stir.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Tue Jun 08, 2004 12:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Random Dance Company - "AtaXia"

By Debra Craine for The Times

WAYNE McGREGOR’s choreography has always plugged into the Zeitgeist. More than any other dancemaker working in Britain today, he feeds off the fractured energy and frenetic pace of modern life. Stimuli flood his dances, they feel frantic and out of control. So what we have in AtaXia, his latest creation, is the perfect synthesis of style and subject.

Ataxia is a rare neurological disorder which robs the body of its ability to co-ordinate movement. It has a drastic effect, severing the link between mind and body.

click for more

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