Ten years on from the initial research that developed into Rosie Kay’s best-known and highly regarded show 5 SOLDIERS: The Body is the Frontline, she re-tours 5 SOLDIERS with performances in Europe and the USA - including at Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre on February 7.
As a decade-long project that has pioneered artistic field-research and taken contemporary dance out of traditional arts venues, Kay pushes one step further by casting current soldier Trooper Alex Smith, 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards to dance in 2019’s shows.
Just before he graduated as a professional ballet dancer at Northern Ballet, Alex decided to join the Army, a move influenced by stable employment prospects.
Some years later, 5 SOLDIERS inspired him to renew his interest in dancing.
His recent audition won his place as an incredible performer who brings his own personal knowledge of the preparation and commitment of being a soldier
Kay’s initial research with the British Army was inspired by a personal experience of injury, an interest in exploring the hidden reality of life as a soldier and a vision of empathy with those willing to sacrifice so much of themselves for their jobs.
When recovering from an injury, Kay started looking at the parallels between the training of soldiers and dancers and how the body could be used as a shared medium to start conversations about identity, discipline, motivation and trauma.
A visceral ‘tour de force’ of the senses, 5 SOLDIERS has a powerful physicality, moments of humour and is full of honesty, all inspired by careful observation and input from serving and former soldiers.
Through the hour-long performance, the cast of five performers show the power struggles between their ranks, the passionate and sometimes rowdy bonds between each other, their vulnerabilities and their fragility, ultimately forming a hugely strong unit that can face a firefight and an unseen enemy together.
Rosie Kay, choreographer, said: “Working with soldiers over the last ten years has been an incredible and eye-opening experience.
“Over 8,000 people join the British Army each year yet it’s not a world that many members of the public get to access. Using dance, 5 SOLDIERS has clearly touched a lot of people with the response from soldiers, veterans and audiences being incredibly positive.”
Age guidance: 12+ (contains violence).
5 SOLDIERS can be seen in the Round at the SJT at 7pm on Thursday February 7.
Tickets are priced from £10. Click here to book or call the box office on 01723 370541.