In one of the deadliest disasters in human history, fully one-third of the world population were infected and 50 million succumbed to the epidemic. The spread of the disease was helped by the massive movements of troops and civilians as a result of the four years of war.
Shobana Jeyasingh says she hopes ‘Contagion will serve as an act of commemorating and remembering.’
Co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK arts programme for the 1914-18 centenary, Contagion is supported by the science foundation Welcome and has been performed in arts and science-related venues across the country. Research for the piece involved eminent virologists, such as Professor John Oxford of London University, whose work on the 1918 Spanish Flu is world-renowned.
Jeyasingh’s choreography echoes the scientific features of a virus, with her eight female dancers contorting and mutating as they explore the defences and weaknesses of the human body.
Further inspiration for the choreography came from the work of the Austrian painter Egon Schiele, himself a victim of the Spanish Flu at only 28-years-old. His work, depicting contorted bodies and twisted lines, well expresses the anxiety of his time.
The score for Contagion comes from composer Graeme Miller; set and costumes are Merle Hensel and lighting by Yaron Abulafia.
Related Talk: Fri 2 Nov 19:30
Sat 3 Nov 19:00
|What||Shobana Jeyasingh, Contagion, British Library|
|Where||British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB | MAP|
|Nearest tube||King's Cross St. Pancras (underground)|
02 Nov 18 – 03 Nov 18, Fri 18:30 & 21:00 Sat 18:00 & 20:30 Dur.: 30 mins approx
|Price||£12 (£15 performance + talk)|
|Website||Click here to book via the British Library|