In 1918 a Spanish flu pandemic infected one-third of the world’s population and killed over 50 million people. Directly exacerbated by troop and civilian migrations from the First World War, the virus killed more people than the war itself.
This autumn, acclaimed choreographer Shobana Jeyasingh, who is known for using the intellectual and physical power of contemporary dance to investigate the world around her, is marking the centenary with Contagion, her first major new work since 2015.
Contagion is a dance installation co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary. Set to an atmospheric soundscape, this dance piece utilises digital visuals to replicate and echo the scientific characteristics of a virus – the rapid, random and constantly shape-shifting flux. Eight female dancers contort and mutate to express the resilience and the vulnerability of the human body through movement.
There are two performances of Contagion taking place at 12 pm and 2:30 pm at the Imperial War Museum. Following the 12 pm performance, there is a further event Contagion:A Closer Look. which will provide the opportunity to hear from choreographer Shobana Jeyasingh and Professor John Oxford, leader in the field of vaccine and anti-viral clinical trials, to find out more about the Spanish flu and its influence on the choreography and audiovisual element in Contagion.
Contagion: A Closer Look is a free and refreshments will be included. There is no need to book and attendees are asked to meet at Imperial War Museum, at 12:45pm where they’ll be escorted over to Ziferblat at MediaCityUK for the event.