New dance show by choreographer Rosie Kay and her dance studio is inspired by CIA brainwashing theories, pop stars’ connection with the mysterious society of Illuminati and successfully adapted proper aesthetics.


Inspired by conspiracies

MK ULTRA is the new project by one of the UK’s leading female choreographers, Rosie Kay. A dance show called after CIA’s mind control program – sounds intriguing, isn’t? Moreover, the MK ULTRA is inspired by rumours of all kinds. You probably heard some conspiracy theories about pop stardom and its connection to the Illuminati, mainly about Jay-Z, Beyonce, Rihanna, Kanye, Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga… and many others. The Internet began to look for certain sings in these celebrities’ videos. Symbols like the all-seeing eye, the pyramid, the pentagram, and the pagan idol Baphomet are commonly associated with mysterious society of Illuminati that supposedly exists from 18th century. Rosie Kay Dance Company adapted this aesthetics  for their new dance show, together with rumours about modern Illuminati pop stars. It’s more than inspired by mind-control conspiracies – it’s the result of Rosie Kay’s research which lasted for a few years.

Dance Show "MK Ultra" Dance Show "MK Ultra" Dance Show "MK Ultra"

Based on research

“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?”, Kay explains background of MK ULTRA. She’s started her research with torture and CIA brainwashing and didn’t expected it to lead her to pop culture conspiracy theories.

The result is a mix of uncanny Illuminati aesthetics and modern dance with some twerking moves. For the higher level of authenticity and stronger connection with pop culture, designer Gary Card was invited to work on the project. He previously designed outfits and accessories for Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball Tour, so dancers’ costumes are gonna look really pop.


Concentrate of pop culture

“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,” says Rosie. MK ULTRA is not her first work on an “exotic” theme for a dance show. MK ULTRA is closing her trilogy in which Key already explored such topics as war (5 Soldiers – The Body is the Frontline) and religion (There is Hope –The Body and Religion). Good luck with “delving into the illuminati”.

MK ULTRA premiers on March 17 and 18 in Birmingham, UK.

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