5 SOLDIERS was created in 2010 and then re- worked in 2012. A dance theatre work with four male and one female dancer. It looks at how the body is essential to and used in warfare. It is a timely, controversial, thought provoking and moving exploration of war in modern time. This piece is a testament to our soldiers and for us to understand the effects that war brings to them physically and mentally. A highly physically demanding piece of work yet beautifully harrowing and poetic piece of dance theatre.
“This astonishing work that takes no stand on war except to present it as it is now for the soldier. Rosie Kay’s dancers get right inside the skins, the minds, the very souls of the five as they progress from the rigours of training to the breath-holding intensity of the frontline. It’s highly charged and it screams authenticity… Warfare here isn’t about weapons and armour, but about the physicality and dexterity of the human body, the punishment it can give and the abuse it can take… The final scene leaves you shocked and sobered, with a new humility and a fresh understanding of what gallantry really means. Awesome.” THE STAGE
“Rosie Kay’s new work is an honorable attempt to understand the effects of war on the bodies of soldiers. Kay so wants us to identify with what her five-strong cast is experiencing that she rubs our faces in it… As the lone female Tilly Webber strips off her combat gear and, after powdering bare limbs, oozes over the stage oblivious to the wolfish men assisting her… The most revealing scene is a muscular yet tender duet that underscores the ambiguous bonding that can occur in the theatre of war.” THE TIMES
‘Instead of just creating a short film, the team wanted the web user to get a truly interactive way to watch dance, and actually feel that they can go inside the minds and the body of the work. The 80-minute work was cut to just 10 minutes long, and the company spent one week filming in a huge aircraft hangar at Coventry Airport, thanks to supporter Sir Peter Rigby.
Using a variety of cutting edge filming techniques, the collaborative team have created a 13 angle edit that takes you into the heart of the work, follows each of the dancers, and zooms out so that the performers appear to be like ants in a huge empty landscape.
As a dance piece, key collaborators Aquila have been following the process from the creation until its present point, documenting along the way. The new concept of this piece gave Aquila new challenges in both production and post-production. Working closely with Rosie Kay, they formulated a unique way to shoot dance, allowing them to capture the whole story over 13 different angles.
The work has an open end – in the stage version there are the final scenes, which are extremely powerful. Rosie Kay felt that she didn’t want to give the full story away, and so it literally stops- suspended after the event portrayed, a second in time stretched out before the next actions. You will need to see the theatre touring work to know what happens next’.