Rosie Kay Dance Company – 10 Soldiers – Festival Theatre Edinburgh Thursday 30 May 2019, 7.30pm
A decade ago, choreographer Rosie Kay gained an attachment with The British Army. Her mission was to create a performance that communicated the experiences of young soldiers to the general public through dance. Kay trained with 4th Battalion The Rifles and spent time with amputees and injured veterans, hearing their stories of comradery, commitment, sacrifice and bravery. This research developed into the hit-show, 5 SOLDIERS: The Body is the Frontline, receiving 5-star reviews in the Independent, The Observer, The Herald and The Scotsman as well as a Special Commendation from the Royal Society of Public Health. In 2017, the piece gained further traction winning official support from The Army in recognition of its contribution to soldiers’ wellbeing and as an accurate representation of life in the Armed Forces, using a creative artform to communicate the emotions of soldiers.
After nearly ten years of touring 5 SOLDIERS to theatres and Army barracks alike, Rosie Kay returns to The Army to conduct new research and expands the piece for large stages.
For one night only, 10 SOLDIERS will be performed at Edinburgh Festival Theatre on Thursday 30 May at 7.30pm.
The cast of ten dancers play the roles of a company of soldiers who train together, building stamina and expertise, before being sent into the heart of a conflict zone. Together they experience the physical and psychological effects of war, forming life-long friendships along the way whilst witnessing both the brutality and compassion humanity is capable of. With a bigger cast, 10 SOLDIERS enables Rosie Kay to dig deeper into relationships between soldiers, including the growing presence of women in the military and the inclusion and contributions of BAME soldiers.
Her new research taps into current conversations around equality and diversity in The Army, showing power struggles between the ranks, the passionate and sometimes rowdy bonds between each other, their vulnerabilities and fragility, ultimately forming a hugely strong unit that can face a firefight and an unseen enemy together.
Kay’s initial work with The 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.
Kay choreographed 2018’s Commonwealth Games handover performance live broadcast from the West Midlands globally to over one billion people. 10 SOLDIERS has been created in association with Birmingham Hippodrome, of which Rosie Kay Dance Company has recently become an Associate Company. The tour will be presented in association with The British Army.
10 SOLDIERS premieres at Birmingham Hippodrome on Tuesday 21 May, before heading to Edinburgh Festival Theatre on Thursday 30 May. Tickets are on sale.