Rosie Kay back on stage in Birmingham after 'retirement'

Published: 25 August 2020
Reporter: Steve Orme

Exploring women in dance: Rosie Kay Credit: Ian Wallman

Birmingham-based choreographer Rosie Kay is returning to the stage to perform the première of her new solo work as part of a triple bill, Absolute Solo II.

Twenty-one years on from her first solo show Absolute Solo, which she performed at the 1999 Edinburgh Festival, and five years since she last appeared on stage, Kay returns with works that look backwards and forwards at her personal experience as a female in dance.

The triple bill will also include her new work created during lockdown. Now, as an older dancing female, she says she has something to say about the female body and the experience of being female and being on stage.

The world première will take place in the Studio at Birmingham REP and will be one of the venue's first shows on stage when it reopens. There will be a socially distanced audience of about 70. Absolute Solo II will also be live-streamed to audiences at home. The triple bill includes an archive film of Patisserie from 1999 and Kay's first public performance of Artemis Clown, originally commissioned by Eliot Smith Dance Company.

Kay said, “it's very exciting to be preparing to go back on stage again after five years of 'retirement'. I feel very different as a dancer but incredibly at home performing again and I can't wait for the thrill of being with a live audience.

“Lockdown has been such an odd time but it gave me the opportunity to really dig deeply into why I need to dance, how dance has affected my life and why dancing people are so important to communicate complex ideas about humanity.

“Dancing again has given me such an insight into my body. Getting fit and strong and stretching has been a real buzz but has also given me an insight into emotions and why dance is essential to my soul. My new solo is both personal and universal, it explores women in dance and in life, and I think people will connect with what I have to say.”

Absolute Solo II will be at Birmingham REP on Saturday 21 November. The live-stream will be available at the Rosie Kay Dance Company and Birmingham REP web sites.