delving into the illuminati
Enter the hypnotic world of MK ULTRA. Rosie Kay’s new work is a high energy, supercharged mash-up of thrilling dance, music and imagery. It is inspired by the bizarre realm of pop culture mind control conspiracies.
Rosie Kay is one of the UK’s leading female choreographers. She is renowned for her athletic movement, rigorous research and intelligent theatricality. Choreographer to the hit film Sunshine on Leith, Kay is best known for the five star award-winning 5 SOLDIERS.
MK ULTRA is a CIA code word for a real LSD fuelled brainwashing technique developed by the US military. Popular conspiracy theory believes that MK ULTRA is still active and programmes certain pop stars as puppets of the ‘Illuminati’, a shadowy elite intent on creating a New World Order of authoritarian world government.
Exploring popular culture has never been so odd- a world filled with satanic images, occult messages, hidden symbols and hyper-sexualisation, this stuff is packaged as mainstream and sold across the globe.
Kay, with a typically fearless eye, delves deeply into this world and conjures up something entirely new, subverting the subversive. If you didn’t know about the Illuminati, you soon will and if you did, expect MK ULTRA to shatter the Illuminati’s illusory control.
Choreographer & Director: Rosie Kay
Producer: James Preston
Performers: Shanelle Clemenson, Harriet Ellis, Shelley Eva Haden, Lizzie Klotz, Joao Maio, Ryan Munroe, Oliver Russell
Composer: Annie Mahtani
Costumer Designer: Gary Card
Set and Video Designer: Louis Price
Lighting Designer: Mike Gunning
Dramaturg: Tessa Walker
Creative Collaborator: Adam Curtis
2017 Creation and Tour
Funded by Arts Council England
Commissioned by DanceXchange, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, and Warwick Arts Centre
Thanks to all our Crowdfunder supporters
Anderson, Anne Scott, Cath Kay, Chris Unitt, Christopher Kerry, Gregor Colville, Helen Kay, Jenny Smith, John Anderson, Natasha & Gavin, Richard Lee, Robert & Alison, Simon Broadbridge and anonymous donors.
Research and development phases
Funded by Arts Council England
Supported by danceXchange and Dance Base
2015-16: Research & Development
Sep 2016: Tanzmesse nrw (Dusseldorf)
National Tour 2017
BIRMINGHAM Birmingham Repertory Theatre | Fri 17 & Sat 18 March
LINCOLN Lincoln Performing Arts Centre | Thu 23 March
KENDAL Brewery Arts Centre | Thu 30 March
YORK York Theatre Royal | Wed 5 April
LONDON Laban | Thu 20 April
INVERNESS Eden Court | Tue 25 April
NEWCASTLE Dance City | Fri 28 & Sat 29 April
MANCHESTER HOME | Wed 3 & Thu 4 May
LEEDS Northern Ballet | Tue 9 May
WARWICK Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry | Thu 11 & Fri 12 May
STIRLING Macrobert Arts Centre | Thu 18 May
For more information or tour booking contact James Preston
“a wildly ambitious new work….a postmodern fantasia”
“MK Ultra asks important questions about the real and the fake, and whether, for a new generation, they’ve become one.”
“Extraordinary….a super-saturated sensory feast of movement, sound and imagery”
“In a stylish collaboration, the film-maker [Adam Curtis] and choreographer [Rosie Kay] explore the myth of a shadowy cult attempting world domination through mass brainwashing”
Following in-depth research, award winning choreographer Kay (and former artist in residence at the University of Oxford) discovered that there was a huge divide between those who were aware of the illuminati saturation in pop music; the under 25’s, and those who weren’t; the over 25’s. Shocked and excited to be exploring such an important subject matter, Kay found that young people were engaged, political, cynical and frightened by what they believed, what they suspected and what they could know for certain. When consulting the over 25’s, Kay discovered a general sense of unease, but very little real knowledge of what this world looks and feels like.