Journalist and documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis, who recently directed Hypernormalisation and Bitter Lake both for the BBC, will work with choreographer Rosie Kay on a new contemporary dance performance piece. Adam will join Rosie’s team as a creative collaborator on the live show, MK Ultra, to give the project “a wider political and social context”. It will go on a UK tour from March 2017.
Designer Gary Card is also collaborating on the project, creating his first costume designs for contemporary dance.
The show explores the current political landscape and the idea that people are losing faith in politicians and instead starting to believe fantastical conspiracy theories on the internet. In particular, it focuses on one of the strangest theories: that the illuminati are controlling the minds of pop stars.
“Over the past twenty years millions of people have given up believing in the grand stories told them by politicians and others in power,” Adam says. “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 is on at 11 venues around the UK from 17 March – 18 May 2017.