Image courtesy of Rosie Kay Dance CompanyThere have been, for a number of years, rumors that Jay-Z and Beyonce, Rihanna, Kanye, Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, and many more are members of a secret cabal known as the Illuminati. These pop stars are seen as puppets of this society, whose origin dates back to founder Adam Weishaupt in Bavaria in the 18th century. The internet has had a field day poking around the pop stars' videos and stage visuals looking for occult symbolism and the famous "eye-in-the-triangle," spawning memes aplenty.
This provocative and intriguing idea now forms the basis for a new dance show called MK ULTRA by the award-winning Rosie Kay Dance Company—headed by artistic director and choreographer Rosie Kay—which will premiere next March in the UK. Aptly, it will feature Lady Gaga designer Gary Card's first costumes for contemporary dance, which are currently still in the R&D phase and have yet to be revealed. Card has previously designed headpieces and props for Gaga, notably on her Monster Ball Tour.
Image courtesy of Rosie Kay Dance CompanyThe play itself will look at hidden Illuminati symbolism in pop culture, along with conspiracy theories and brainwashing. Kay has spent the last few years intensely researching conspiracies surrounding pop stars to create the show's narrative and imagery, which will be a high-octane mashup of dance styles, subliminal messages, and twerking.It's research that has led her into worlds of surveillance, torture, CIA brainwashing, celebrity training, and "through to pop culture, mainstream media and celebrity breakdowns, all the way back to politics and a comment on the post-culturism state we are in now," Kay notes."At the start, I didn’t expect my three-year research process to take me into the world of conspiracy theory, systematic mind-control, and pop stardom," Kay tells The Creators Project. "But as I looked more closely at the way that power is asserted over us, it became more obvious how much mainstream pop culture (and in particularly, music videos) syndicates a puppet-mentality, where bodies are seemingly controlled and manipulated by outside forces. Yet despite the dark, occult imagery that we’re used to seeing in videos by the likes of Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Beyonce and Britney Spears, their music maintains a saccharine quality which creates a disturbing discord. Is there a hidden agenda behind the creation of these pop icons and are young people being conditioned to accept hyper-sexualization, militarization, and mental and physical torture with this sugar-coated, Disneyfied pop culture?"
Image courtesy of Rosie Kay Dance CompanyMK ULTRA will form the third part of a trilogy of shows which began with Kay's 5 Soldiers and tackled the subject ofwar. Next was religion with her show There is Hope. Now, she's onto politics."I’ve spent a lot of time researching these themes with 14-25 year olds and although they come into contact with pop culture on a daily basis, many have such an immense distrust of the mainstream and that’s why these feel like such important issues to tackle," notes Kay. "For MK ULTRA, I’m working with seven recently graduated dancers. The show will flow between solos and group pieces subverting movements and behaviors that we’re exposed to in pop culture and placing a critical eye on dance trends like twerking and the sexualization of young people. At a time when everything is fake, or at least we don’t trust what’s real any more, MK ULTRA looks at what this world really feels like and what affect it is having on us, whether we know it or not.”MK ULTRA will have its world premiere performances on March 17 and 18 at Birmingham Repertory Theatre, England before touring around the UK. Tickets are on sale now at mkultra.dance.Related:2017 Is the Year of Aggression for This Annual Performance Art SeriesExperience Digital Love in the VR Dance Project ‘Through You’This Butoh Dance Film Explores Violence, Sensitivity, and Deprivation