Media release: Tuesday 24 January 2017– Today, Rosie Kay Dance Company, headed by award winning choreographer and artistic director Rosie Kay, announces television journalist Adam Curtis has joined the company’s MK ULTRA team as creative collaborator.


MK ULTRA is a new dance work that will explore the strange and weird stories that have risen up on the internet. Stories that millions of young people across the world have become fascinated by – as they turn away from believing anything they are told by those in power.


MK ULTRA is about the one of the strangest and most bizarre of those stories – set in the strange realm of modern pop culture, it is about mind control conspiracies which the Illuminati are using to control most of the major pop stars. It reunites Kay’s 5 SOLDIERS creative team and sees designer wunderkind Gary Card creating his first costume designs for contemporary dance.


Curtis is well known for his films such as Bitter Lake and the recent HyperNormalisation.  He also made the series The Power of Nightmares for the BBC that challenged and exposed many of the conspiracy theories behind the reporting of Islamist terrorism. He will work with Kay to give a wider political and social context to MK ULTRA.


Curtis said:Over the past twenty years millions of people have given up believing in the grand stories told them by politicians and others in power. This has created a vacuum into which have rushed all kinds of strange and bizarre stories about the hidden forces that are really controlling the world. 


I find them fascinating – because, on the one hand they show how in our chaotic and uncertain time people are desperately seeking evidence that someone, anyone, is really in control. But at the same time people also hate the idea of control – because everybody these days wants to be an independent, free individual. And I think it is the tension between these two – the desire for control and the desire for freedom – that leads to such strange and bizarre stories rising up.


I think Rosie’s idea to explore this strange world is brilliant. Because it is a way of looking at how people really see the world today. It’s a way of looking behind the shiny surface of modern society – a surface that the politicians and their journalistic allies are desperately trying to hold in place – and seeing the real tensions and anxieties that are actually shaping how we feel today.”


MK ULTRA receives its world premiere performances at Birmingham Repertory Theatre on 17 & 18 March and will tour to a further 10 venues across the UK until 18 May 2017.


MK ULTRA is supported using public funding by Arts Council England and is commissioned by DanceXchange, Warwick Arts Centre & Birmingham Repertory Theatre.



For media enquiries please contact: Simon Harper, Simon Harper Public Relations, or 07810 863408

Notes to editors:

Rosie Kay Dance Company is an internationally recognised dance-theatre company that creates exciting and challenging work that tours in unique and captivating ways to theatres and unusual spaces such as military bases. Established in 2004 the company exists to nurture and further the creative talents of choreographer and director Rosie Kay, who is recognised as a leading choreographer in dance, film and theatre. Award winning and nationally prolific (RKDC won Best Independent Company at the 2015 Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards), the company makes a dynamic range of shows, always exploring in exciting ways what dance can be and how dance can be presented. Kay’s choreographic style is highly athletic, physically demanding, risky and thrilling. Kay’s work is always grounded in research; she has strong narrative ability (though does not exclusively create narrative work) and a keen sense of theatricality. Kay’s most recent works have included significant video elements working with her theatre video designer husband Louis Price. Her work is described as engrossing, overwhelming, involving, moving, impressive, uplifting, unsettling, majestic, entrancing and breath-taking. Rosie Kay Dance Company is project funded by Arts Council England and other partners.

Rosie Kay was born in Scotland and started dancing at the Royal High School and Dance Base, Edinburgh. She is the Artistic Director of RKDC and trained at London Contemporary Dance School. Rosie Kay is based in the West Midlands and became the first associate artist of DanceXchange in 2004. Kay has created award-winning theatre work that includes: Sluts of Possession; There is Hope; 5 SOLDIERS; and Double Points: K. Site-specific works include: Haining Dreaming; The Great Train Dance on the Severn Valley Railway; and Ballet on the Buses in collaboration with Birmingham Royal Ballet and Fierce! Festival. Kay choreographed the hit film Sunshine on Leith and has featured many times in Dance Base’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme. Kay, the first choreographer to become Artist in Residence at the University of Oxford, is Research Associate to the University of Oxford School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography. In 2013 she initiated LAB and Scratch training courses for recent cross-art-form graduates and continues to teach, lecture and speak on dance, research methods and running an arts business.

Adam Curtis Adam Curtis is a television journalist. Since the early 1990s he has made a number of serial documentaries and films for the BBC. They are linked through their interest in using the fragments of the past—recorded on film and video—and reassembling them to try and make sense of the chaotic events of the present. The films go back into the recent past to tell dramatic stories that lead the viewer to look again at the present day, to help make sense of it.

Adam Curtis’s films try to show how power really works in today’s complex society. How it flows not just through politics but through all sorts of other areas – like psychology and other sciences, public relations and advertising, computer networks and social media, finance and business.

His most recent films have been made for BBC iPlayer – HyperNormalisation and Bitter Lake. He has also made series such as The Century of the Self, The Power of Nightmares and All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace. He has also worked in partnership to create live shows – with Massive Attack, and with the immersive theatre group Punchdrunk.


ROSIE KAY DANCE COMPANY – MK ULTRA – 2017 tour dates and listings information:

Fri 17 & Sat 18 March at 7.45pm (Please note- National Press Night is Fri 17 March)

Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Broad Street, BIRMINGHAM, B1 2EP

Tickets: 0121 236 4455 //

Thu 23 March at 7.30pm

Performing Arts Centre, University of Lincoln, Brayford Pool, LINCOLN, LN6 7TS

Tickets: 01522 837600 //

Thu 30 March at 8pm

Brewery Arts Centre, 122a Highgate, KENDAL, LA9 4HE

Tickets: 01539 725133 //


Wed 5 April at 7.30pm

York Theatre Royal, St Leonard’s Place, YORK, YO1 7HD

Tickets: 01904 623568 //


Thu 20 April at 7.30pm

Laban Theatre, Laban Building, Creekside, Deptford, LONDON, SE8 3DZ

Tickets: 020 8463 0100 //


Tue 25 April at 8pm

Eden Court Theatre Bishops Road, INVERNESS, IV3 5SA

Tickets: 01463 234 234 //


Fri 28 & Sat 29 April at 7.30pm

Dance City, Temple Street, NEWCASTLE, NE1 4BR

Tickets : 0191 261 0505 //


Wed 3 & Thu 4 May at 7.30pm

HOME, 2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester, M15 4FN

Tickets: 0161 200 1500 //


Tue 9 May at 7.30pm

Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre Northern Ballet Quarry Hill, LEEDS, LS2 7PA

Tickets: 0113 220 8008 //


Thu 11 & Fri 12 May at 7.30pm

Warwick Arts Centre, University of Warwick, COVENTRY, CV4 7AL

Tickets: 024 7652 4524 //


Thu 18 May at 7.30pm

Macrobert Arts Centre University of Stirling, STIRLING, FK9 4LA

Tickets: 01786 466666 //


Age Guidance: 14+ – this is a guideline not a restriction. The work deals with adult themes including those of a sexual nature.


Duration: Approximately 90 minutes, including interval.


Twitter: @rosiekaydanceco // Facebook: #MKUltraDance