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Saturday, 18 February 2017

Interview | Rosie Kay Dance Company 'MK ULTRA'.

Rosie Kay Dance Company - dancer Lizzie Klotz in MK Ultra - photo by Brian Slater 
Rosie Kay is one of the leading female choreographers within the UK. Located within the West Midlands means we're able to embrace the athletic movement, rigorous research and intelligent theatricality that Rosie has become renowned for. She choreographed the hit film Sunshine on Leith as well as becoming best known for the five star award-winning piece, 5 SOLDIERS

Her new piece entitled MK ULTRA sees her submerge into the world of Illuminati, conspiracy theories; leaving us to define for ourselves what reality is and what is not. With the rise in conversation about fake news, surveillance and whistle blowers becoming almost regular it seems almost spooky that Rosie Kay's piece sits amongst those ideas. 

Having chatted to Rosie Kay about this work and the research she undertook to create this exciting new dance piece it is clear that she went down the rabbit hole of the internet, looking into various ideas and scope surrounding various theories. It was important throughout her research that Rosie allowed herself to discover what she wanted to believe, taking everything she read with a "pinch of salt". 


There's an idea what many of the well known pop stars we've come to be so influenced by over the years, including Beyonce and Kesha are puppets to the Illuminati and are being brainwashed. Therefore brainwashing us with it's satanic imagery, occult messages, hidden symbols and hyper-sexualisation, it's sold across the globe and easy to access from social media platforms, especially YouTube.
Rosie Kay Dance Company - MK ULTRA - photography by Brian Slater
The title of the piece, MK ULTRA, comes from a well known CIA code word for a brainwashing experiment ran by the US military. Patients didn't know they were being brainwashed, whilst MK ULTRA has been said to be stopped there are ideas that they it still exists and is linked to Disney young stars as well as the idea of the 'Illumanti', a elite group of people who are intent on creating a New World Order of authoritarian world government . These ideas include Britney Spears who you'll remember had a high profile meltdown 10 years ago. Rosie discovered in her research that a lot of the views were far right winged ideas, a lot of which were quite negative. 


Rosie's choreography in the piece plays on a lot of improvisation taken from popular music videos which are "technically difficult but beautiful" and incorporating pop dance and krumping styles on 7 dancers to make the piece fresh and engaging to the eye. With the work the established choreographer is "challenging myself, I don't want to make generic work" and her work definitely has a space for opening up new discussions with people under 25 as well as those over 25, establishing a bridge between our conversations about conspiracy theories. 


The piece also contains some very exciting collaborations, Lady Gaga designer Gary Card will create his first costume designs for contemporary dance. Its a collaboration that Rosie has said she has wanted to do for her work for a long time. It will add on another layer to the piece as there is conversation about the relationship between the Fashion Industry and the Illumanti. Rosie explains, "it won't be a costume piece, I want to see the body and the moving". They will be using digitally laser catsuits so we're able to fully see the body moving through the piece. 


English documentary film maker Adam Curtis also joins in creating a political and important edge to the dance piece and has created documentary inserts within the production structure to give it more punch. Adam told Rosie that "You'll miss an opportunity to say so much more than pop music" giving the audience more opportunity to understand the context of the piece.


It's a "Pop mash up conspiracy" that you won't miss. The piece premiere's at Birmingham Repertory Theatre on 17 & 18 March before embarking on it's tour from 23 March - 18 May. 

thanks for reading,





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