News: The Body is the Frontline

Tuesday 20 April 2010

Choreographer Rosie Kay’s new work 5 SOLDIERS – The Body is the Frontline premieres at Birmingham International Dance Festival this weekend (Fri 23 & Sat 24 April).

As part of a Rayne Fellowship, set up to support and encourage choreographers wanting to connect more strongly with society, widen their intellectual and emotional curiosity, and develop entrepreneurial skills, Rosie Kay had a placement with the British army in 2007 which was the starting point for 5 SOLDIERS . “My inspiration was that I wanted to understand how a soldier is trained and how they can risk their lives for their work” says Kay. “After working with 4 Rifles I started to realize that being a soldier isn’t straightforward, and that that life in the military is complex and I wanted to explore the human and emotional side of being a soldier.” Although life in the military might seem a far cry from the dance studio, she was also struck by some of the parallels – the centrality of the body, the discipline, the repetition of well schooled movement.

To develop the work Rosie and her four male and one female dancers have spent more time with 4th Battalion The Rifles and the collaborative team was widened to include visual artist David Cotterrell – who spent time in Helmand Province with the Joint Forces Medical Group in 2007 witnessing operations on combat trauma victims in the field hospital at Camp Bastion – and theatre director Walter Meierjohann, currently an Associate Director at the Young Vic.

After the Birmingham premiere _5 SOLDIERS_will go on a three month tour of the UK, but the London performances promise to be unique. They will almost certainly be the first contemporary dance performances in the historic Drill Hall of the Rifles Club in Mayfair. Demonstrating the relationship which has been built between artists and military through the _*5 Soldiers* _project, the performances will mark the launch of the Care for Casualties appeal by the Rifles Regimental Association -and all proceeds from ticket sales will go to the new charity.

Listen to an intervew with Rosie Kay on BBC Radio 4’s Today, Friday 23 April

5 Soldiers premiere 23 & 24 April 2010: International Dance Festival Birmingham
UK tour dates: 23 April – 10 June 2010. More details
London performances: *20 & 21 May 2010, The Rifles Club Drill Hall, 52-56 Davies Street, Mayfair, London. *
Doors Open 7pm for pre show drinks and reception; Launch of Care for Casualties appeal 7.30pm; Show 5 SOLDIERS 7.45 pm- 9pm
Price £25, all box office proceeds go to Care for Casualties charity.
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