Wayne McGregor's Giving Away 5000 Hours of Free Rehearsal Space

April 3, 2017

Choreographers often don’t ask for much to create their work. Their primary needs are pretty simple:

  1. Dancers
  2. Studio space

Now, Wayne McGregor is helping out London’s dance community with the second of those two resources.

His new multi-million dollar studio in east London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park just opened on Friday. And he’s pledged to give away 5000 hours of rehearsal time there for free every year.

Studio Wayne McGregor, via waynemcgregor.com

Finding affordable studio space can be a major roadblock for choreographers in big cities like London and New York.

“We have tried not only to create a space for Wayne and company but to respond to what is going on in the wider dance world,” executive director Rebecca Marshall announced, as reported by The Stage. “There is an overwhelming need for appropriate and affordable space in London and we want to create a place people can come together and think about the wider context of what they are doing.”

The program, called FreeSpace, will be available to artists at all stages in their career. The hope is to give choreographers more time to experiment and take risks, without any demand to create a final product.

There’s just one—genius—catch:

For each week of free rehearsal space, artists have to spend one day on outreach, offering “creative interactions and engagement projects,” to give back to the local community.

Well played, McGregor.