Contagion: Shobana Jeyasingh Dance


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A major new dance work inspired by the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918

Contagion commemorates the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, which killed more people than the First World War itself. The piece is inspired by the nature and spread of the flu virus, the unseen enemy within that mankind was battling, far deadlier than the war that raged in the trenches. The striking work of the Austrian artist Egon Schiele, who fell victim to the Spanish Flu, forms a visual footnote to the piece.

Set to an atmospheric soundscape, this performance with evocative visuals brings us closer to the virus: rapid, random and constantly shape-shifting. Eight female dancers contort and mutate as they explore both the resilience and the vulnerability of the human body.

The piece was conceived, choreographed and directed by Shobana Jeyasingh. The music is a specially commissioned score composed by Graeme Miller.

Suitable for ages 12+

The performance last for around 30 minutes. There will be limited seating available. Audiences will wear headphones to hear the soundscape which is a combination of music, effects and spoken word. 

Book tickets for any two of ContagionThe Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World and Sjón: Moonstone and the Spanish Flu and get 30% off when you buy your tickets in the same transaction.

Shobana Jeyasingh has been creating dynamic, fearless and enigmatic dance works for 30 years. Born in Chennai, India, she currently lives and works in London. Her acclaimed, highly individual work has been witnessed in all kinds of venues, including theatres, outdoor and indoor sites and on film. Her work taps into both the intellectual and physical power of dance, and is rooted in her particular vision of culture and society. Shobana’s work is often enriched by specially commissioned music composed by an array of contemporary composers, from Michael Nyman to beat-boxer Shlomo. Her eclectic band of creative collaborators have included filmmakers, mathematicians, digital designers, writers, animators, as well as lighting and set designers.

Contagion is co-commissioned by Shobana Jeyasingh Dance and 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, with support from the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and from the Department for Culture Media and Sport. Supported by The Deborah Loeb Brice Donor Advised Fund at CAF America, Garcia Family Foundation, Dr Michael and Anna Brynberg Charitable Foundation, Oak Foundation, Wellcome and company Creative Circle supporters.

★★★★★ 'Vivid, moving and stunningly stylised' – The Times


Name: Contagion: Shobana Jeyasingh Dance
Where: Entrance Hall
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Price: Full Price: £12.00
Member: £12.00
Senior 60+: £10.00
Student: £8.00
Registered Unemployed: £8.00
Under 18: £8.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546