Anna Furse – An Anatomy Act


An Anatomy Act
By Athletes of the Heart (Anna Furse)
Presented by Chisenhale Dance
22nd Sept 2018 | 7:30pm – 8:30pm
£10 Early Bird, £12 Advance, £14 Standard | Book Online

Conflating her roles as a theatre director, writer, and Professor, this unique performance event has Anna Furse giving a vivid animated lecture on Anatomy, accompanied by haunting saw playing and illuminating video.


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The Anatomy Theatres of Renaissance Europe were the horror movies of their day – full of blood, guts, morality and human drama. The public gawped in fear and fascination at the criminal cadaver being doubly punished before their eyes.  Furse takes this idea and runs with it, taking us on a journey of discovery to contemplate our bodies, dead or alive, as she segues from personal loss to the circulation of the blood, from Elizabeth 1 to Lady Gaga. This performance wants to make us think about the meaning of life, why we fear death, and invites us to spend a little time to reflect on our heart and souls – and assert exactly where our liver is.


This presentation at Chisenhale Dance Space is supported by Arts Council England.

AN ANATOMY ACT is a Athletes of the Heart production co-produced by Live Collision for Chisenhale Dance with the support of Arts Council England. Commissioned originally by CAPP a transnational programme co-funded by Creative Europe Programme of the EU in collaboration with Athletes of the Heart and Live Collision. It is an Athletes of the Heart production with the Centre of the Body at Goldsmiths, University of London. 

Photo credit: Ludovic des Cognets




Anna Furse is one of the early feminist theatre makers in the UK.Following training with the Royal Ballet in the 1960’s, where she won choreographic prizes from Leonid Massine and Sir Frederick Ashton respectively, she quit dance for theatre in 1971, assisting and translating at Peter Brook’s International Centre for Theatrical Research (ICTR) Paris. Following a BA at University of Bristol she was selected for paratheatre work with Jerzy Grotowski’s Teatr Laboratorium in France
and Poland. After a P.G.C.E. at Goldsmiths, in the 1980s she was a New Dance activist, maker and performer with X-6 collective, co-founder of Chisenhale Dance Space, and co-editor of New Dance Magazine.  At this time she was one of 4 performers (Transitional Identity) to introduce Contact Improvisation into the UK HE system. She concurrently taught internationally, was Head of Movement at Rose Bruford, and co-founded her pioneering feminist physical/visual company BloodGroup (6 international devised touring productions and Clam (by Deborah Levy), with the ICA its London venue).  Artistic Directorships include Paines Plough (1990 -1995) where her controversially innovative mission brought writers to collaborate with dancers and live artists and work site-specifically.

Athletes of the Heart was founded by Anna Furse in 2003, devoted to transgressing artistic, cultural and geographical boundaries, the company collaborates and co-produces internationally. Each project responds to the specific conditions in which it is produced – seeking opportunities to connect process to production over time – evolving dramaturgy and event through research, attention to physicality and with an essential, poetic and vibrant scenography.


Mela Dell’Erba Scenography
David Coulter Musical composition
Henry Dagg Musical collaboration
Nao Nagai Lighting Design
Kilian Waters Video Design
Rachael Champion Set Realisation
Berthe Fortin Costume Realisation
Carl Kennedy Sound Design Mix
Dafne Louzioti Research Assistant & Social Media
Dawn Kemp & Jack Klaff Script Consultancy
Ludovic des Cognets Publicity Photographs
Nina Klaff & Abigail Denniston Production Photographs
Dave Darcy Graphic Design
Lynnette Moran Producer | Live Collision

Additional information


Early Bird, Advance, Standard