Media Release: On tour across Scotland: Rosie Kay Dance Company – 5 Soldiers: The Body is the Frontline

Five Soldiers - Rosie Kay Dance Company 01

Award-winning Rosie Kay Dance Company brings its critically-acclaimed 5 SOLDIERS: THE BODY IS THE FRONTLINE to Scotland.

“War from a female perspective packs a punch…taut, visceral, compassionate” ★★★★★ THE OBSERVER

Top dance of 2015: The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent

Best Independent Company at the 2015 Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards

“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.” General Sir Nick Parker, KCB, CBE

* * *

ROSIE Kay Dance Company, the international award-winning dance theatre company headed by Edinburgh-born artistic director and choreographer, Rosie Kay, is bringing its thought-provoking and poignant 5 Soldiers: The Body is the Frontline to Scotland – from Friday 29 April to Sat 28 May 2016.

The tour will see the performance play in a range of arts venues and army barracks including: Tramway (Glasgow), Glencorse Barracks (Penicuik), Macrobert Arts Centre (Stirling), Fort George (Inverness) and Gordon Barracks (Aberdeen).

5 SOLDIERS has already received high praise from its performances with five-star reviews and a string of accolades, including being awarded ‘Best Independent Dance Company’ and nominated for ‘Best Choreography’ (modern) at the 2015 Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards; Best Dance and Top 10 Dance (2015) in The Guardian and The Observer; Best Dance and Top 5 Dance (2015) in The Independent; Best Dance Production (2015) from North East Theatre Guide; and awarded an Arts and Health Special Commendation by the Royal Society for Public Health for the company’s excellent contribution to arts and health practice.

Lust, shock and awe… 5 Soldiers is a disturbing, illuminating and necessary glimpse into a world we mostly prefer to ignore” ★★★★ THE GUARDIAN  

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 input from serving and former soldiers. It has been endorsed as ‘getting it’ by its military audiences. In movement, the performance weaves a story of physical transformation, helping us to understand what makes a soldier and how the experience of warfare affects those that choose to put their life on the line.

To fully understand the impact of war, Kay undertook an intense period of field research.

She joined The 4th Battalion The Rifles for two weeks and experienced full battle exercises on Dartmoor and Salisbury Plain. She then visited a military rehabilitation centre to see the effects of conflict and training on the soldiers’ bodies. With her trademark of intense physicality and athleticism, this high-octane performance enables a glimpse into the training that prepares soldiers for the sheer physicality of combat, for the possibility of injury and the impact conflict has on body and mind. 

For this tour, the company includes two new dancers, Luke Bradshaw and Reece Causation, in addition to existing dancers, Duncan Anderson, Shelley Eva Haden and Oliver Russell. The 2016 tour will see the company undertaking training with 51st Infantry Brigade and Headquarters Scotland.

The creative team behind 5 SOLDIERS includes: Louis Price (designer), Annie Mahtani (composer), Ben Payne (Dramaturg) and Mike Gunning (lighting designer). 

Regarded as one the UK’s leading female choreographers, Kay choreographed the 2013 feature film Sunshine on Leith, with songs by The Proclaimers. She was the first choreographer to be appointed the Leverhulme Artist in Residence at the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford (full biography in notes to editors).

5 SOLDIERS has an extensive community engagement programme in each area working with local communities, service personnel and their families, young people and veterans which culminates in a community performance prior to the performance on the Saturday night. On the Friday in each of the areas, the dancers will take to the streets/ public spaces to give a 15 minute outdoor taster of the performance. On the Friday night, there is also a post show Q&A session with Rosie Kay, the cast and a local Commanding Officer. 

This Scottish tour has been made possible through funding from Creative Scotland, The Armed Forces Covenant Fund, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and tour partners. 

Rosie Kay said: “I’m delighted to be bringing 5 Soldiers to Scotland, and we have been overwhelmed by the level of support already from all our funders and tour partners. As a dancer who trained and danced in Edinburgh, it means a great deal to be touring to Scotland.”

For further Information, interviews, photographs contact: Wendy Niblock, Publicist on 07961 814834 /


Tramway | 25 Albert Drive, Glasgow G41 2PE 

Fri 29 + Sat 30 Apr | 7.30pm

£12 / £8 | 0845 330 3501 |

Post-show discussion: Fri 29 Apr | Pre-show community performance: Sat 30 Apr

Glencorse Barracks | Penicuik EH26 0NP (presented by Eastgate Theatre & Arts Centre)

Fri 6 + Sat 7 May | 7.30pm

£12 / £10 | 01721 725777 |

Post-show discussion: Fri 6 May | Pre-show community performance: Sat 7 May 

Macrobert Arts Centre | University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA

Fri 13 + Sat 14 May | 7.30pm 

£12.50 / £10.50 | 01786 466666 |

Post-show discussion: Fri 13 May | Pre-show community performance: Sat 14 May

Fort George | Old Military Road, Ardersier IV2 7TD (presented by Eden Court)

Fri 20 + Sat 21 May | 7.30pm

£15 / £13 | 01463 234 234 |

Post-show discussion: Fri 20 May | Pre-show community performance: Sat 21 May

Gordon Barracks | Ellon Road, Bridge of Don, Aberdeen AB23 8DB (presented by Citymoves)

Fri 27 + Sat 28 May | 7.30pm

£12 / £8 | 01224 641122 |

Post-show discussion: Fri 27 May | Pre-show community performance: Sat 28 May

Notes to editors:

* Age guidance: 12+ contains violence and some sexual content

* Running time: one hour

* Saturday night community performance: approx. ten mins


* Rosie Kay Dance Company is an internationally-recognised dance-theatre company that creates exciting and challenging work that tours in unique and captivating ways to theatres and unusual spaces such as military bases. Established in 2004 the company exists to nurture and further the creative talents of choreographer and director Rosie Kay, who is recognised as a leading choreographer in dance, film and theatre. Award-winning and nationally prolific, Rosie Kay Dance Company makes a dynamic range of shows, always exploring in exciting ways what dance can be and how dance can be presented.

* Rosie Kay BA (Hons) FRSA, trained at London Contemporary Dance School graduating in 1998 and after a career as a performer formed Rosie Kay Dance Company in 2004. Kay has created award-winning theatre work that include: Sluts of Possession (2013) in collaboration with the Pitt Rivers Museum; There is Hope (2012) exploring religion; 5 SOLDIERS – The Body Is The Frontline (2010), based on extensive research with military which toured in the UK and Internationally and Double Points: K (2008) in collaboration with Emio Greco|PC. Site-specific works include: Haining Dreaming (2013) a Get Scotland Dancing project; The Great Train Dance (2011) on the Severn Valley Railway, a Cultural Olympiad London 2012 commission and Ballet on the Buses (2007) in collaboration with Birmingham Royal Ballet and Fierce! Festival. Kay creates installation and dance film, with 5 SOLDIERS - the film, exhibited in The Herbert Gallery’s ‘Caught in the Crossfire – Artists responses to Conflict, Peace and Reconciliation’, Stadtmuseum Dresden, autumn 2014, and selected for inclusion in the film collection of la Médiathèque du Centre National de la Danse, Paris. Feature Film credits include: Choreographer to the Box Office hit Sunshine on Leith (2013), and Brummoves (2014).

Kay has initiated LAB and Scratch training courses for recent graduates cross-arts and continues to teach, lecture and speak on dance, research methods and running an arts business. Kay was the first Leverhulme Artist in Residence to the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford, 2013-2014 and has continued as a Research Associate. She is associate artist of DanceXchange, Birmingham. Awards include 1st Prize Choreography, International Solo Dance Festival Stuttgart, Award from The Queen as ‘Young Achiever of Scotland’, Bonnie Bird New Choreography Award and nominated as Best Independent Company, National Dance Awards, Critics Circle. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Artists, listed in Debretts and an MCR of St Cross College, Oxford. |

FIVE SOLDIERS is funded by Creative Scotland; The Armed Forces Covenant Fund; ABF The Soldiers’ Charity; tour partners.

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