Wayne McGregor
Wayne McGregor | Photo: Pål Hansen

Captivated by the music of Stravinsky

8 March 2023

Wayne McGregor is the director and choreographer of Jocasta’s Line

Text: Wayne McGregor

In Jocasta’s Line, choreographer Wayne McGregor forges links between classical tragedy and the movement idiom of modern ballet, and along with the Canadian composer Samy Moussa he formulates a response to Stravinsky’s musical masterpiece.

McGregor says, “How, as a choreographer, can you not be fascinated or even captivated by the music of Stravinsky? His music is in the DNA of our physical consciousness. Together, the iconic combinations, the radical reinvention of structures and the melodies that continually challenge the listener provide an intense and powerful experience that is unparalleled. Stravinsky’s compositions inspire: they fire the imagination and hijack your senses. It’s music that sits inside your core – raw, direct and daring.”

“In recent years, along with a fantastic artistic team, we’ve tried to create our own contemporary renditions of Stravinsky’s greatest works. Our new version of The Rite of SpringAfteRite for American Ballet Theatre – transported us to the Atacama desert in Chile, where a mother has to take heart-rending decisions about what to keep and what not to keep, in a post-apocalyptic world with scarce resources. LORE, our adaptation of the explosive Les Noces for Teatro alla Scala, became a kind of science fiction sequel to AfteRite. It shows a world in which rituals and customs are broken, spliced, juxtaposed and reborn, as generations follow one another, and what is held sacred is redefined.”

‘By combining these musical compositions, we’re striking out on a new creative circle of inspiration and innovation’

Oedipus Rex, Stravinsky’s monumental opera-oratorio, demands a totally different approach. The incredible austerity, haunting beauty and explosive energy of the composition offer opportunities for interpreting it through dance, whereby the physical character of Stravinsky’s rich musical world is reflected, expanded and recalibrated on stage. In addition, we’ve asked the brilliant Samy Moussa to compose a new work for the orchestra and women’s chorus, Antigone, as an addition to Oedipus Rex. By combining these musical compositions, we’re striking out on a new creative circle of inspiration and innovation; a space between the known and the unknown, and between story-telling and experience, in order to present timeless themes in a contemporary light.”

  • Jocasta’s Line, a production performed by Dutch National Ballet and Dutch National Opera together, will be seen at Dutch National Opera & Ballet in March 2024.

    Info & tickets

Wayne McGregor

The British choreographer and director Wayne McGregor (1970) has won many awards. He is internationally renowned for his groundbreaking ballets, in which he has radically redefined dance today

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