In this week's episode, Alice and Nicolas interview dancer and choreographer Rosie Kay. Rosie began dancing at the age of three, founding the Rosie Kay Dance Company in 2004. With multiple award winning shows to her name, Rosie suffered a serious knee injury in 2006, and this got her thinking about other jobs which involve bodily risk. She ended up embedding with an infantry battalion to research the risks that soldiers take, and this led to her development of the dance show 5 Soldiers: the Body is the Frontline, which has since toured the UK to critical acclaim.
5 Soldiers is an incredible piece of physical theatre which captures the experiences of one woman and four men as they train, prepare for war and eventually deploy to Afghanistan. It gives audiences a glimpse of modern military culture, of how women fare in the army, and of what it is like to be at war, both mentally and physically. Focused on bodily experiences in particular, it visualises war in really powerful and thought-provoking ways, so we were excited to ask Rosie how it came about, what she was trying to communicate with it, and how it has impacted on audience's perceptions of soldiering and warfare.
Among other questions, we asked Rosie:
We hope you enjoy the episode!
For a version of our podcast with close captions, please use this link. You can find out more about 5 Soldiers, an expanded version of the show called 10 Soldiers, and the Rosie Kay Dance Company on their website. A recorded performance of 5 Soldiers can be viewed here.
For more information about individuals and their projects, access to resources and more, please have a look on the University of St Andrews Visualising War website.
Music composed by Jonathan Young
Sound mixing by Zofia Guertin