A triple bill of solos, looking backwards and forwards at Kay’s personal experience as an older female in dance, will be performed at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh on Saturday 24 July.
21 years on from her first-ever solo show, Absolute Solo, which she performed in the 1999 Edinburgh Festival, and six years since last appearing on stage herself, Edinburgh-born Kay returns to performing with a triple bill of solos. Her new work, Adult Female Dancer, was created in the 2020 lockdown and explores the deep emotional connection between her life and dance. Now, as an older dancing female, she has something to say about the female body and the experience of being female and being on stage. Part autobiography, part socio-anthropological study, Kay uses ideas of performance, identity, sex, and gender to explore her new dancing spirit.
The triple bill also includes an archive film of the international award-winning Patisserie (1999) and Kay’s first public performance of Artemis Clown (originally commissioned by Eliot Smith Dance Company).
As part of making Adult Female Dancer, she completed a five-day ‘virtual’ residency at C-DaRE, (Centre for Dance Research at the University of Coventry), where she spent time thinking about her own life and her own body as the material. As well as looking at themes in her 1999 debut solo works, she revisited her 1998 university dissertation that explored female solo choreographers of the early 20th Century. Using these early influences, Kay has also been looking at core feminist texts and their relevance to today’s society. Partly autobiographical, part meditation on the need to dance, Kay uses ideas of performance, identity, sex, and gender to explore her new dancing spirit.
Rosie Kay said: “Going back on stage again, after a break of many years has been an extraordinary experience. I used lockdown as a chance to rediscover my body, adapt it to dancing again, and mined my own life to create a new solo that is part autobiography, part celebration of a life dedicated to dance. I don’t shy away from the big stuff; life, death, violence, pain, and childbirth all come up, but ultimately there is deep joy in a life given to art. I use the music of Bach, Morricone, and Patti Smith as well as my own voiceover to tell my story. I wanted to say something deeply personal about being a woman on stage, as well as have a universal message that anyone can connect to and enjoy. The whole triple bill weaves themes of sex, performance, identity and vulnerability. It is scary and exciting to be finally showing these works to the world!”
Rosie Kay stopped performing in 2015, after a career spanning over thirty years on stage and has been happy to be behind the scenes for the past five years choreographing her critically acclaimed works 5 SOLDIERS, 10 SOLDIERS, MK ULTRA, and Fantasia amongst others. However, she has felt the draw to perform again, which was reignited when she had to stand in for one of the 5 SOLDIERS dancers on the company’s tour of the USA in February 2020.