Régine Chopinot created “ANA” on 12 October 1990 at La Coursive in La Rochelle for the World Chess Championships which would take place in Lyon in November 1990. Inspired by the character of Alice in the follow-up to her Adventures in Wonderland – “Through the Looking Glass” – “ANA” was created in two parts, with an interval, a rhythm that reflected the wording: A – N – A: “Upside down, upright, two highly-distinctive As, which are tripped around a single fuse, the N, like iNterval”.  With nineteen performers dressed by Jean Paul Gaultier, original music composed by Cyril de Turckheim and a complex stage-set, here the choreographer from La Rochelle offers us a monumental work, which overflows with her studies of the writings of the Lithuanian art historian Jürgis Baltrusaitis which deal specifically with anamorphoses and catoptrics (the science of mirrors).
The first part of “ANA” opens unto a giant glass chessboard designed by Marc Caro and created hand-in-hand with the decorator Danka Semenowicz, and which offers around sixty spectators the opportunity to slide underneath the glass and view the dance in an extraordinary way. The performers, with helmets, dressed respectively in red overalls with white spots and white overalls with red stars, stand ready for battle on two sides, portraying the start of a game of chess, which Régine Chopinot artfully devises with the help of a chess player from La Rochelle, Christian Macheteau. The atmosphere is that of a combat (alarms, shots, killings, etc.).The pawns create duplicates in the silvering of the mirror and through the reflection on the stage imagined by the lighting designer Gérard Boucher, blurring the markers, the frontiers between illusion and reality for which the body plays the link.
The second part of the performance illustrates Lewis Carroll's eleven-move chess game that is set in motion by an army of Alices in white sports shoes, pink crossed-over pinafore tutus, sailor shirts and pink wigs and that plays an introduction to the dreamlike world of the heroine. Playing on a kaleidoscopic style, individualities are dissolved, augmented over and over again, successively conjuring up Busby Berkeley, the military tattoo and classical corps de ballet.
Still riding on the wave of success of her last production “K.O.K” (1988), “ANA” was enthusiastically received. In this first production without actors since “Appel d'air”, Régine Chopinot reconciled herself with classical vocabulary. By her own admission it meant coming back to “pure” dance that she had paradoxically rediscovered when she came face to face with the world of boxing which had inspired her for her previous production: “After “K.O.K”, we couldn't go any further in deconstructing. It was through the body sculpted during “K.O.K” that I rediscovered my dance”. 
 Document presenting the work, Centre chorégraphique national de Poitou-Charentes (Poitou-Charentes National Choreography Centre), La Rochelle, 1990.
 Interview with M.-C. Vernay, “Dix-neuf kikis sur un échiquier-miroir”, Libération, 1st November 1990, No. 1280.
Like Alice Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. And what happens to the curious who usurp the role of the voyeur fish so that they may better re-emerge. It's a case of the fryer fried, relishes the ordinary spectator from the front tier. On the other side, transparent on the chessboard, a choreographed match takes place… solo, from duo to duel, in keeping with the loyal strategy of chess and the virtues of each opponent – dancer. Small, long, round, square, short-haired, on springs, pin-headed, they accordion-fold and unfold their vertiginous curiosity from their ludicrous corpulence. To the skin-tight jersey (stamped by Jean-Paul Gaultier), what strange type of fantasy does a body reveal… I mean, really! The hat of the summit falls once again into the abyss, when Alice, in the air “Never at the back” flies over, imagining for a moment she is Peter Pan. From the trompe-l'œil to the pretence, a hallucinogenic game of yoyo hanging on to the crystal of the Voice. Remember what we tell children … that if they manage to kiss their elbow, then girls will become boys and boys will become girls. And “checkmate”!
Like entr'acte, like the nose in the middle of the face that snorts and sneezes, moves between the chess table and the cabinet fantastique. N sits everyone back down in the right place.
Masculine or feminine? “Let's pretend”. The fake unisex makes boys and girls jump into the same petticoats and do skunkworks. One for all, throw sex in the water, and all for one. An army of zombies dressed for the carrousel. In a single body, with the same momentum, a vivid kaleidoscope, a sliding mirage according to the laws of invisible mathematics, dedicated to the secret choreographic intent. From one curtain to the other, a magic box where the mirrors unceasingly inflame the seething tapestry and the resounding labyrinth until total abstraction. Until the stars are squinting! Which of the reflections are really dancing? An eclipse of what is real, that only takes on its human figure under a certain angle, just like the pictorial and architectural technique used by many painters to provide a contrasting analysis of their works, in other words anamorphosis.
(source : communication document from the company)
Updating: March 2012