An Anatomie in Four Quarters is a performance set to an original score featuring live strings, percussion and bagpipes. It is a promenade performance in which the audience cut a path through the auditorium of a theatre, changing viewing positions for each of the four movements. Featuring a cast of dancers and musicians, An Anatomie is a visual poem about human beings’ insatiable desire to get closer to things, celebrating the physical structure of the bodies we inhabit and the ways we attempt to see, define, contain, name and value them.
There has always been an intimate connection between anatomy and performance. Anatomy is often referred to as the science of seeing — the anatomy theatre itself is a kind of looking machine and so is the dance theatre. Bodies seem very different depending on where you are looking at them from — whether that be a particular place in the theatre, a specific environment, a period in history, or your relationship with the person you are looking at.
In making this piece we became interested in human beings’ insatiable desire to get closer to things, how the act of looking affects what we are looking at, and the risks of becoming stranded in one point of view, however beautiful fascinating or reassuring it may be. The audience in some sense become the anatomists, looking deep into the internal structure of the theatre and turning it inside out.
The choreography is inspired by anatomical drawing and medical images throughout history.