Dancing on the front line

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Rosie Kay Dance Company’s acclaimed production 5 SOLDIERS was brought to a whole new audience with the live streaming of a performance from a working Army drill hall in central London in September 2017

In 2008, choreographer Rosie Kay joined the 4th Battalion The Rifles, to watch and participate in full battle exercises on Dartmoor and Salisbury Plain, and visited the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre for our Armed Forces to learn about the effects of conflict. What came of these observations is now an award-winning, five-star work, 5 SOLDIERS.

Thanks to a commission by The Space to bring the work to a larger audience, viewers can now watch the production, recorded live, through YouTube, Facebook Live, various websites and BBC Arts Digital.

5 SOLDIERS: The Body is the Frontline arrived in London fresh from an award-winning sell out run at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It has won a string of 4 and 5 star reviews for its visceral portrayal of the lives and experiences of a female and four young male soldiers as they undergo training and are deployed in the middle of a brutal conflict.

5 Soldiers silhouette production shot with 5 star reviews
5 SOLDIERS: The Body is the Front Line

The live stream on 8 September kicked off a national tour, in association with the Army, that began with three performances presented in partnership with Sadler’s Wells at the drill hall at London’s Yeomanry House. It included a post-show discussion where the audience was able to put questions to a panel including Lt Gen James Bashall CBE, Lt Col Sue Wright former SO1 Arts, choreographer and creator of the show creator Rosie Kay, Sadler’s Wells Artistic Director and Chief Executive Alistair Spalding and Observer dance critic Luke Jennings.

Rosie Kay said:

It’s vital that we understand what we ask of British soldiers. 5 SOLDIERS gets beyond the uniform to humanise their stories and experiences. The response from audiences, including everyone from veterans to peace activists, has been tremendous.
“Having the live streaming, the BBC distribution, the Army’s support for the Fringe and the national tour is tremendous. It provides us with superb opportunities to reach new audiences with a humanistic portrayal of war; complex, nuanced, uncomfortable-yes, but overall, impassioned and truthful.

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About this artist

Rosie Kay Dance Company have a reputation for making bold, original and exciting works that challenge perceptions and take on innovative subjects. Highly physical, with astute performances and intense athleticism, we make works that excite audiences with a visceral experience they feel in their bodies and minds. We aim to connect with our audience and are interested in building new audiences and attracting people who may have never seen first-rate contemporary dance before.