Creative Voucher Scheme
Wayne McGregor | Random Dance & City University London
Polly Hunt, Wayne McGregor | Random Dance
Simone Stumpf, City University London
Connections: The Wayne McGregor Living Archive (prototype)
Wayne McGregor | Random Dance is one of the world’s leading dance companies. During its 20-year history it has performed to a live and TV audience of almost 5 million in 53 countries, provided participation opportunities for over 70,000, and led a ten-year collaborative research programme through its unique R-Research department. It is led by the multi-award winning contemporary choreographer Wayne McGregor CBE, who is also Resident Choreographer at The Royal Ballet and creator of work for the top dance companies around the globe. Wayne McGregor | Random Dance is McGregor’s laboratory, the key vehicle through which he creates his most experimental work, takes risks and explores new ideas. It is also the administrative hub of a large portion of McGregor’s choreographic work, and the home of his archive of materials relating to his various creative endeavours.
The ‘Living Archive’ project was a collaboration between Wayne McGregor | Random Dance and City University London to design and build a prototype digital archive of unique materials produced during the career of choreographer Wayne McGregor. Its aim was to collate disparate collections belonging to McGregor and the companies he has worked with in order to act as a central repository from this point forward, reflecting the evolution of McGregor’s works and allowing exploratory navigation through the archive material. The intended audience for this archive ranged from McGregor himself and the staff working in his company, to select collaborators and then a more general audience.
The project involved the conducting of collaborative research in a number of directions. The participants explored and documented Wayne McGregor’s creative practices in relation to artefacts used during the creation of works, subsequent restaging, etc. This allowed for the design of a supporting electronic archive system that will enable artefacts to be included in an archive as they are used, thus truly being a ‘living archive’ that is jointly created and sustained. The project explored designs for a public interface to the archive which would allow for a range of access needs. Designs included providing personas and user journeys for key stakeholders and users of the archive. The participants investigated the possibility of allowing the user to follow and create a story through the archive material without an enforced interpretation or pre-provided. Designs of the interface enable the addition of artefacts to the archive and database by Wayne MacGregor | Random Dance and collaborators through a proof of concept system.
The project enabled the development of a domain model that underlies the archive implementation. It is a conceptualisation of the tagging and attribute structure of artefacts which allows items to be catalogued in storage and then subsequently be retrieved. This domain model has been implemented in the archive database.
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