In Autumn 2016, Shobana Jeyasingh created études, an eight-minute contemporary dance piece responding to The Courtauld Gallery’s exhibition Rodin and Dance: The Essence of Movement. The exhibition explored Rodin’s fascination with dance and bodies through experimental sculptures the artist made towards the end of his life. Performed in silence, and in the exhibition space, études translated Rodin’s sculptural poses into graceful contemporary dance. The work explored the boundaries of balance, extreme poses and curve within movement.
Jeyasingh’s choreography effectively combines Rodin’s sculptural poses with the hyperextended hand gestures of Cambodian dance. By doing so, the choreography embodies the connection between sculpture and drawing made in the exhibition; the graceful movements of the dancer echo the smudged outlines of his pencil drawings and the swirling vigour of Rodin’s Cambodian watercolours.
Choreography by Shobana Jeyasingh
Dancer: Noora Kela
Exhibition Curator: Dr Alexandra Gerstein
The Rodin and Dance: The Essence of Movement exhibition in collaboration with the Musée Rodin
Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Learning Programme supported by the Garcia Family Foundation
Exhibition generously supported by Friends of The Courtauld, International Music and Art Foundation, Anonymous in memory of Melvin R. Seiden, The Daniel Katz Gallery, London, Stuart and Bianca Roden and Henry Moore Foundation.
Erin Whitcroft writes about étudesRead the full review in The Independent
The Courtauld Gallery's 'The Body In Motion' - Teacher ResourceDownload Resource Pack
Shobana Jeyasingh Dance in museums and galleries - some more examples
Contagion commemorates the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, which killed more people than the First World War itself. A site-specific, standing performance presented in unusual venues, many with connections to the First World War and the Spanish Flu outbreak in the UK. The piece is inspired by the nature and spread of the flu virus, the unseen enemy that mankind was battling within, while engaging in more conventional warfare in the world outside. The striking work of the Austrian artist Egon Schiele, who fell victim to the Spanish flu, forms a visual footnote to the piece.
As part of the 2019 London Festival of Architecture, Shobana Jeyasingh Dance created two outdoor dance works responding to the architecture of two distinctive locations – Aldgate Square in the City and Guy’s Courtyard at King’s College London, London Bridge.
Fluid Boundaries is a dance response to the idea of ‘boundaries’ and aims to bridge the gap between physical, social and cultural barriers and challenge perceptions around everyday locations and familiar spaces.