A DANCE troupe joined the Army on exercise in the region this week to find out what it’s really like to be in the military.
Five dancers took part in Exercise Solway Eagle with members of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards as preparation for their stage roles in ‘5 Soldiers’ at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
The production follows an infantry company as they prepare, then deploy, for combat. It is among the shows taking place at [email protected] this summer.
This week the dancers involved discovered what it was like to be out on patrol in enemy territory, be part of an ambush, deal with a roadside bomb blast and undergo an artillery bombardment. They also witnessed a live fire exercise involving heavy machine guns and grenades.
Participant Harriet Ellis said: “Being here has really helped me understand what our soldiers go through.
“All these things are real life to them but far outside most people’s experience, and exactly what we have to put across in our performances.”
Captain Edward Mitchell, who helped look after the group while they were in the Galloway Forest, said: “This was an ideal opportunity for the dancers to see what soldiering is about, what really happens when we prepare for a tour of duty overseas and how soldiers learn to survive and fight in combat conditions.
“It’s also been an opportunity to chat with soldiers with very different levels of experience.”