Five Dancers Tell The Stories Of Frontline Soldiers From An Army Drill Hall in Rosie Kay Dance 5 SOLDIERS

Five Dancers Tell The Stories Of Frontline Soldiers From An Army Drill Hall in Rosie Kay Dance 5 SOLDIERS

Ahead of its tour across the UK, Denmark and the USA, Rosie Kay Dance Company's critically acclaimed 5 SOLDIERS: The Body is the Frontline will be broadcast on Forces TV on 23 December at 8pm. This will be the first time the show has been made available to viewers on TV and will be available on Freeview + You View, Freesat, Sky and Virgin in the UK as well as part of BFBS TV for HM Forces serving worldwide.

The film shows 5 SOLDIERS as it was livestreamed from a Central London Army drill hall in association with The Army last year, a broadcast commissioned by The Space and BBC Arts that reached 70,000 viewers.

Throughout the performance, the cast of five outstanding dancers show the power struggles between the 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. The journey is one of physical and psychological transformation, and the sheer effort and brutality of the work leaves audience members, regardless of political standpoint, with respect for what soldiers must go through.

The show is followed by a panel discussion hosted by Simon Preston and featuring choreographer Rosie Kay alongside Lt Gen James Bashall Commander Home Command, Lt Col Sue Wright former SO1 Arts, Sadler's Wells Artistic Director and Chief Executive Alistair Spalding, and Observer dance critic Luke Jennings.

For your opportunity to see the show live on stage, 5 SOLDIERS will be touring the UK and abroad from 31 January to 13 April with performances at Salisbury Arts Centre, Perth Theatre, Stephen Joseph Theatre (Scarborough), South Hill Park (Berkshire), Gulbenkian (Canterbury), Sherman Theatre (Cardiff), Strode Theatre (Somerset), Baltoppen LIVE and Grønnegades Kaserne Kulturcenter (Denmark) and Atrium Theater as part of the SF Performances season (San Francisco).

2019 holds exciting news for RKDC as for the first time, they are able to cast a serving soldier for a dancing role. Trooper Alex Smith, 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards, trained at Northern Ballet before leaving to join The Army. Alex is being seconded by The Army whose continued support of 5 SOLDIERS provides official endorsement of the show as an authentic and insightful representation of the challenging experiences soldiers go through.

Already praised for its authenticity - the show has been endorsed as 'nailing it' by military audiences - this inspired casting of a serving soldier who can bring his real experiences in The Army to the stage takes that sense of realness to even greater heights.

A decade on from the initial research that developed into 5 SOLDIERS, Rosie Kay Dance Company is also expanding the work into 10 SOLDIERS with a larger cast and new research into equality and diversity in The Army. She will be asking questions around the growing number of women in the Army, how this shapes community among female soldiers and how women are treated in a military unit. The new piece will premiere at Birmingham Hippodrome on Tuesday 21 May (tickets are on sale), before heading to Edinburgh Festival Theatre and Norwich Theatre Royal.

The tours will be presented in association with The British Army, this being the second time they officially endorse the work in recognition of how dance can provide insight to soldiers' lives. Wiltshire Creative is also a major supporter of the 2019 UK tour.

Lieutenant Colonel Jo Young (SO1, Engagement) at The British Army, says: "The British Army is delighted to continue its association with this vital and engaging production. 5 SOLDIERS and 10 SOLDIERS present audiences with real insight around the themes of inclusivity, core values and soldiering in the 21st Century. It is important that society has opportunity to engage directly with the Army - its people - as these conversations develop."

Rosie Kay, choreographer says: "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. Although I've seen the bonds and deep friendships that Army units develop, soldiers can sacrifice so much of themselves to fulfil their job and their duty. Inspired by my own experience of a career-threatening injury, I wanted to tell this story of how soldiers bodies remain essential on the frontline, and the show digs down into the foundations of their commitment to each other, inner strength and dedication in coping with war and recovery. It's a story that I hope inspires empathy and a greater understanding of life from a soldier's perspective."

5 SOLDIERS was originally created and toured in 2010-11. The show was revived in 2015 and toured England and Wales receiving five-star reviews and featuring in the Top 10 Dance of 2015 in The Guardian, The Observer and The Independent. The show and community engagement work received a Special Commendation from the Royal Society of Public Health in recognition of its excellent contribution to Arts and Health practice. In 2016-2017, it was presented in Association with The Army in theatres and Army drill halls receiving five-star reviews from The Scotsman, The Herald and The Independent, and selling out a two-week run at Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Forces TV is available on Freeview + You View, Freesat, Sky and Virgin in the UK as well as part of BFBS TV for HM Forces serving worldwide.

5 SOLDIERS

Thursday 31 January | Salisbury Arts Centre

Friday 1 February | Salisbury Arts Centre

Tuesday 5 February | Perth Theatre

Thursday 7 February | Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Tuesday 12 February | South Hill Park, Berkshire

Thursday 14 February | Gulbenkian, Canterbury

19-22 February | Baltoppen LIVE, Denmark

Sunday 24 February | Grønnegades Kaserne Kulturcenter, Denmark

Tuesday 2 April | Sherman Theatre, Cardiff

Wednesday 3 April | Strode Theatre, Somerset

11-13 April | Atrium Theater, San Francisco

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England. Presented in association with British Army. Major supporter - Wiltshire Creative. Originally commissioned by DanceXchange.

Age Guidance: 12+ contains violence

Running time: 66 minutes + post-show talk

10 SOLDIERS

PREMIERE Tuesday 21 May 2019 | Birmingham Hippodrome. Tickets are on sale: https://www.birminghamhippodrome.com/calendar/rosie-kay-10-soldiers/

Thursday 30 May | Edinburgh Festival Theatre. Tickets are on sale: https://www.capitaltheatres.com/whats-on?q=10+soldiers

Tuesday 4 June | Norwich Theatre Royal. Tickets are on sale: https://secure.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk/Online/default.asp?doWork::WScontent::loadArticle=Load&BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::article_id=6C1BFF46-B64D-4D08-B178-7802980A350E&sessionlanguage=&SessionSecurity::linkName=

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England. Presented in association with British Army. 10 SOLDIERS is being created in association with Birmingham Hippodrome. Research and development commissioned by The Movement, a partnership between Birmingham Hippodrome, Sadler's Wells and The Lowry with funding from Arts Council England Ambition for Excellence.

Age Guidance: 12+ contains violence

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