Rosie Kay première to reopen Birmingham REP

Published: 11 April 2021
Reporter: Steve Orme

Rosie Kay in Adult Female Dancer Credit: Brian Slater

Birmingham choreographer Rosie Kay’s return to the stage with the première of her new solo work has been rescheduled and will be the first performance when Birmingham REP reopens after lockdown.

Almost 22 years on from her first solo show Absolute Solo, which she performed at the 1999 Edinburgh Festival, and six 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.

Absolute Solo II will include Adult Female Dancer, created in 2020 which “explores the deep emotional connection” between her life and dance. Now, as an older dancing female, she says she has something to say about the female body and the experiences of being female and on stage. Kay “uses ideas of performance, identity, sex and gender to explore her new dancing spirit” in the work.

The triple bill also features an archive film of the 1999 piece Patisserie which won first prize in the 2000 Solo Dance Theatre Festival in Stuttgart and Kay's first public performance of Artemis Clown, originally commissioned by the Eliot Smith Dance Company.

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 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.”

Kay will perform Absolute Solo II at Birmingham REP on Wednesday 19 May.