Qualia
Royal Ballet
Royal Opera House London UK


A collaboration with choreographer Wayne McGregor of Random Dance with the Royal Opera House and Royal Ballet.

"Making his debut on the big stage is Wayne Mc-Gregor, whose ballet Qualia sets 19 dancers on a dazzle of invention and self-discovery.
At moments the choreography is in danger of seeming like a box of McGregor's cleverest tricks - shapeshifting moves that flash through the dancers' bodies, kaleidoscopic patterns of shape and line. But there is a genuine seam of strangeness in the work and, with the help of an eerily atmospheric score by Scanner, McGregor seems to put his dancers in touch with a future the rest of us haven't really glimpsed."
Judith Mackrell
The Guardian December 2003

"Wayne McGregor's Qualia, a big event for 19 dancers, looks at first to be a cerebral affair. Taking its title from the neuroscientists' term for raw sensory experience, McGregor apparently set out to create some kind of kinetic model for recent discoveries about the brain. Though on first viewing it's not clear quite how this works, it does give him a wondrously busy canvas.

McGregor uses the ballet body (pointe shoes, attitudes and all) but injects electric squiggles that make it manic. Edward Watson's fabulous opening solo is beautifully controlled, but he could be holding a bare light fitting for all his ticks and judders. Armies of girls in bum-skimming mini-dresses kick and shiver and click together like, well, like synapses snapping into action in brain tissue. Scanner's electronic score (reconfigured every night) locks every sinew into its driving, seething rhythms. The combined technical challenge of spine-snapping speed, off-centre balance and kooky detail is clearly relished by every dancer. This is hot, it's on the edge, and it's just what the Royal should be doing"
Jenny Gilbert
Independent on Sunday December 2003

Choreography: Wayne McGregor
Music: Scanner
Designs: Vicky Mortimer
Lighting :Lucy Carter