FLESH AND BONES was the result of collaboration between CoisCéim Broadreach and The Hugh Lane, and was the culmination of the fourth Choreography Project. Led by choreographer Philippa Donnellan and Hugh Lane Education Curator Katy Fitzpatrick, the theme of the project was the paintings and working methods of painter Francis Bacon. A selection of Bacon’s paintings and his studio – on permanent exhibition at The Hugh Lane – provided a rich source of inspiration for everyone involved.
“Seventeen people took part in The Choreography Project, which began in November 2010 with an excellent guided lecture tour by Katy of Bacon’s work. The evident physicality and visceral quality in much of his work – with its intense focus on the body – provided a distinctive focus and clear point of departure. Over the course of six weeks we discussed, debated, and worked creatively in what was a lively process of choreographic investigation and discovery. Final preparations in the gallery were fun and relatively stress free as we explored where and how to place choreography in the different spaces (helped by the kind staff at the Hugh Lane).
The group performed their work with great commitment and energy – we were all on a real high at what we felt had been achieved. For some of the participants this was the first time they had performed in a gallery – and the first time visiting The Hugh Lane. There was an excellent response from the audience with more people attending the event than anticipated. Many people mentioned that they felt the choreography captured something of the essence of Francis Bacon’s work; they particularly enjoyed seeing the performance in the gallery spaces alongside Bacon’s studio and paintings.
We only scratched the surface in delving into Bacon’s dense and complex work, but I think I can safely say that for all of us it was a rich, challenging – and enjoyable experience.” Philippa Donnellan