A selection of images from rehearsals for Contagion at Studio Wayne McGregor at Here East.
Contagion is inspired by the Spanish Flu, and these images reflect not only the nature of the choreography but also the social history and science behind the piece.
The symptoms of the 1918 flu were dramatic both physically and psychologically. Creeping cyanosis made the body turn a dark purple prior to death. Haemorrhaging was common. The flu was often accompanied by delirium and hallucinations.
In the absence of medical knowledge, the best chance of survival lay in the nursing care that was given by countless mothers, spouses and siblings as well as by volunteer nurses – often at a risk to their own health. These acts of human kindness were the only beacons of light in an otherwise dark world.
Photos by Foteini Christofilopoulou