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Monday, 4 May 2015

Preview: ‘5 Soldiers at Newcastle Dance City



Rosie Kay Dance Company presents
‘5 Soldiers: The Body Is The Frontline’ 2015 Tour
Newcastle Dance City
Thursday 14th& Saturday 16th May 

Dancers Shelley Eva Haden, Chester Hayes,
Sean Marcs, Duncan Anderson,
Oliver Russell – Photo: Tim Cross
Rosie Kay Dance Company, the international award-winning dance theatre company headed by artistic director and choreographer Rosie Kay, will tour its thought-provoking and extremely moving 5 Soldiers: The Body Is The Frontline from 23 April to 13 June visiting Dance City in Newcastle on both 14thand 16th May 2015.

With the commemorations of WWI in the news, 5 Soldiers shows how the human body is still central to all conflict, the impact and injuries lasting long after the headlines fade.

Dancers Shelley Eva Haden, Chester Hayes,
Sean Marcs, Duncan Anderson,
Oliver Russell – Photo: Tim Cross
The tour, the first of its kind in the UK, will see the company working in partnership with theatres, military bases and the Army Welfare Service. This unique style of intensive tour model comprises of two months of community outreach work in each location, leading to a weekend of events, community performances, the professional shows and post-show talks with Kay, the cast and a local Commanding Officer.

Dancers Shelley Eva Haden, Chester Hayes,
Sean Marcs, Duncan Anderson,
Oliver Russell – Photo: Tim Cross
The tour will engage with local theatre and non-theatre venues, including building theatres in drill halls and in Officers’ Clubs, to develop a relationship between military bases and the local arts community through a huge community engagement programme working with communities, service personnel and their families, young people and veterans. In advance of the full show, a 20-minute version of the piece will be performed in the town centre by the professional company.
No-holds-barred, 5 Soldiers delivers Kay’s trademark style of intense physical and athletic dance theatre. The work received audience and critical acclaim in 2010 and 2011, and has been endorsed as ‘getting it’ by its military audiences.

Dancers Shelley Eva Haden, Chester Hayes,
Sean Marcs, Duncan Anderson,
Oliver Russell – Photo: Tim Cross
Says General Sir Nick Parker, KCB, CBE: “Rosie Kay’s use of dance to help create a complex and nuanced picture of conflict is one of the most innovative and compelling initiatives that I have experienced in the aftermath of Iraq and Afghanistan. It demonstrates how art can be used as a powerful tool in the healing process, how it can touch the extended family of those who have been caught in the horror of battle and how it can send a universal message about the soldier. It is an extraordinary achievement which will make a difference to many people.”

Supported by Arts Council England and Army Benevolent Fund, The Soldiers’ Charity, the 5 Soldiers tour will open at Birmingham REP on 23 April, marking five years to the day since the work received its world premiere at International Dance Festival Birmingham 2010.

Dancers Shelley Eva Haden, Chester Hayes,
Sean Marcs, Duncan Anderson,
Oliver Russell – Photo: Tim Cross
5 Soldiers is a moving, dramatic and unique work that looks at how the human body remains essential to war, even in the 21st century.
A visceral ‘tour de force’ of the senses, 5 Soldiers provides an intimate view of the training that prepares our soldiers for the sheer physicality of combat, for the possibility of injury, and the impact conflict has on the bodies and minds of everyone it reaches. The piece has a powerful physicality, moments of humour and is full of honesty, all inspired by input from serving and former soldiers.  

Kay’s moving exploration of war was made following an intense period of field research when she joined The 4th Battalion The Rifles for two weeks and experienced full battle exercises on Dartmoorand Salisbury Plain. Kay then visited the military rehabilitation centre, Headley Court, to see the effects of conflict and training on the soldiers’ bodies.
The 2015 tour sees Kay re-work 5 Soldiers. Says Rosie Kay, artistic director of Rosie Kay Dance Company: “This tour is so exciting for the company- we really want more people to see the work, and experience the power of the message.  Despite advances in technologies of war and the treatment of war injuries, so many people are going to be dealing with the impact of our long stretch of operations.  This affects not just soldiers, but their families, their friends and it affects us as a society.  We have a responsibility to understand what it is we ask our soldiers to do, and how it affects them.

Dancers Shelley Eva Haden, Chester Hayes,
Sean Marcs, Duncan Anderson,
Oliver Russell – Photo: Tim Cross
We know 5 Soldiers really resonates with serving and former soldiers, and so we are widening our tour to include performances, talks, a symposium and an incredible outreach programme across the whole of UK.  It’s an ambitious programme for us as a company, and combines all our years of experience from making outdoor work, site-specific work, community engagement, high quality touring work and professional training and development.

We aim to make an impact with this tour and make people see conflict and the repercussions of war in a new way.”

New to the company are five outstanding dancers – Duncan Anderson, Chester Hayes, Sean Marcs, Oliver Russell and Shelley Eva Haden – during the intense six-week rehearsal period they will participate in a weeklong military exercise with The 4thBattalion The Rifles on the Salisbury Plain.

Dancers Shelley Eva Haden, Chester Hayes,
Sean Marcs, Duncan Anderson,
Oliver Russell – Photo: Tim Cross
5 Soldiers brings together an exciting mix of collaborators: designer Louis Price, composer Annie Mahtani, Dramaturg Ben Payne, lighting designer Mike Gunning and visual artist David Cotterell.

Kay is one the world’s leading female choreographers with a reputation for making strong, intelligent work that tackles interesting subjects with exciting collaborations. In 2012 the company was nominated as Best Independent Dance Company by the National Dance Awards, Critics Circle. Kay choreographed the 2013 feature film Sunshine on Leith, directed by Dexter Fletcher, with songs by The Proclaimers. In 2013, Kay was the first choreographer to be appointed the Leverhulme Artist in Residence at the School of Anthropologyand Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford.

On The Web:

5* Review in The Guardian: www.theguardian.com/stage
 

5 SOLDIERS: THE BODY IS THE FRONTLINE – 2015 tour dates
23-25 April // BIRMINGHAM, Repertory Theatre, Broad Street, B1 2EP                         
Tickets: www.birmingham-rep.co.uk // 0121 236 4455

2 & 3 May // OXFORD, Wolfson College in partnership with Defence Studies Department, King’s College London at the UK Defence Academy and Swindon Dance Tickets: www.5soldiers.co.uk // 0333 577 5700

7-9 May // LONDON, The Rifles Officers’ Club, 56 Davies Street, London, W1K 5HR      
Tickets: www.5soldiers.co.uk // 0333 577 5700

Dancers Shelley Eva Haden, Chester Hayes,
Sean Marcs, Duncan Anderson,
Oliver Russell – Photo: Tim Cross
14 & 16 May // NEWCASTLE, Dance City, Temple Street, NE1 4BR                       
Tickets: www.dancecity.co.uk // 0191 261 0505

23 & 24 May // BLANDFORD The Semaphore Arms, Blandford Camp, Dorset DT11 8RH, in partnership with Pavilion Dance South West  www.pdsw.org.uk // 01202 203630

29 & 30 May // MANCHESTER, Home & Rusholme Army Reserve Centre, Norman Road, Manchester M14 5LH  // Tickets: www.homemcr.org // 0161 200 1500

5 & 6 June // YORK, Theatre Royal & Imphal Barracks, enter via Holland Road, York  YO10 4JT   Tickets: www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk // 01904 623568

12 & 13 June // BRECON, Theatr Brycheiniog, Canal Wharf, Brecon, Powys LD3 7EW    Tickets: www.brycheiniog.co.uk // 01874 611622

5 SOLDIERS: THE BODY IS THE FRONTLINE - Age Guidance is PG - Running Time is 60 minutes


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