South Hill Park

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From Ballet to the Army … and back again

December 10, 2018

The secret life of soldiers:
Rosie Kay announces a fresh look at The British Army and the inspired casting of a current soldier as one of the squaddies.

The 2019 cast for Rosie Kay’s 5 SOLDIERS, (Tue 12 Feb, Wilde Theatre, 7.45pm) will feature current soldier Trooper Alex Smith of the Welsh Cavalry, 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards.

Just before he graduated as a professional ballet dancer at Northern Ballet, Alex decided to join the Army, a move influenced by stable employment prospects. Some years later, 5 SOLDIERS inspired him to renew his interest in dancing. His recent audition won his place as an incredible performer who brings his own personal knowledge of the preparation and commitment of being a soldier.

Alex is being seconded by The Army whose previous support of 5 SOLDIERS provided official endorsement of the show as an authentic and insightful representation of the challenging experiences soldiers go through.

Alex Smith says:

I’ve been a soldier in The Army for two and a bit years, and saw Rosie Kay Dance Company’s live stream of 5 SOLDIERS last year… When I first joined The Army I didn’t tell anyone I was a dancer but now they all know me, I’ve never had more support…There are a lot of stereotypes around who can be a dancer and who dance is for, but I think 5 SOLDIERS presents a strong case that actually anyone can enjoy dance.”

Ten years on from the initial research that developed into Rosie Kay’s best known and highly regarded show 5 SOLDIERS: The Body is the Frontline, Kay tours 5 SOLDIERS with performances in Europe and the USA. As a decade-long project that has pioneered artistic field-research and taken contemporary dance out of traditional arts venues, Kay pushes one step further by casting current soldier Trooper Alex Smith to dance in 2019’s shows.

Experience multi-award winning choreographer, Rosie Kay’s five-star work 5 Soldiers: The Body is the Front Line (Tue 12 Feb 2019, 7.45pm). As choreographer of the Commonwealth Games Handover Ceremony, Rosie Kay’s thrilling production offers no moral stance on war, and instead questions what it is we ask of our soldiers and touches people with a deeper understanding through her portrayal of the life of a soldier.