Rural Touring

Rural Touring Dance Initiative – Satellite Sessions

If you are a dance artist/producer and you want to know more about how to engage with Rural Touring (taking professional shows and projects to community and rural venues) and/or the opportunities offered by the Rural Touring Dance Initiative, these sessions are for you!

Aim of the sessions
To give those attending:
•    a brief overview of the Rural Touring Dance
•    Initiative and meet partners involved
•    an outline of the process leading up to the
•    next national call out for companies
•    a brief introduction on rural touring, including
•    outlining the joys and challenges of taking dance pieces into village halls and to answer any questions around this and the process
•    an opportunity to meet artists who have had experience of touring rurally
•    an opportunity for discussion around these themes
•    an opportunity to meet local scheme managers and schedule in one to one surgeries if helpful

If you have a piece of dance you think could be adapted to tour to village halls or an idea you wish to develop for village halls this is the ideal opportunity to find out how.

Details of the sessions
1. Yorkshire Dance
3 St Peter's Buildings, St Peter's Square, Leeds LS9 8AH
1st June, 4 – 6pm
Book via Natalie Duffield-Moore: 0113 243 9867 Ext. 108 /

2. The Place
17 Duke's Road, London WC1H 9PY
17th June, 10am – 12pm
Book via Catherine Greenwood: 020 7121 1040 /

3. DanceXchange
PwC Suite, Birmingham Hippodrome, Thorp Street, Birmingham B5 4TB
22nd June, 1 – 3pm
Book via Claire Smith: 07720 032546 /

4. Brewhouse Theatre & Arts Centre
Coal Orchard, Taunton TA1 1JL
30th June, 2-4pm
Book via Kim Bardgett: 01460 249450 /

If you would like to book a short one to one surgery with a rural touring scheme manager after any of the briefings please indicate this when booking your place.

The Rural Touring Dance Initiative is a partnership project led by the National Rural Touring Forum with The Place, China Plate and Take Art. The project is funded by Arts Council England through its Strategic Touring Fund. More information and updates:

Announcing the first participants in the Rural Touring Dance Initiative.

Taking part in the Rural Touring Dance Initiative in 2016-17 is a group of eight independent artists and companies. Four of the companies; Panta Rei, Phoenix Dance, Spilt Milk and Sonia Sabri Company, were pre-selected part of the bi-annual New Directions showcase 2014. The next four companies, announced in October 2015 are; Lost Dog, Protein, Joan Clevillé Dance and Lîla Dance applied as part of the open call which saw 155 companies and independent artists apply to the Rural Touring Dance Initiative.

A further five companies; James Wilton Dance, Sarah Blanc’s Moxie Brawl, Tom Dale Company, Greg Wohead and Ben Wright’s bgroup, have been shortlisted to receive a potential commission of £45K to create a new show. As part of the initiative these five companies will take part in a week long residency ‘The Darkroom’ where their ideas will be developed and explored further.

All companies will attend ‘The Lab’ a three-day specially designed course to be held at national folk arts centre, Halsway Manor in Somerset 19-21 October. The course will focus on addressing the challenges of re-working a production so that it can adapt to the variety of spaces that make up the rural touring network.

The shortlisting and selection process was carried out by Ed Collier (China Plate Theatre), Katey Leader (Take Art: Dance Service), Eddie Nixon (The Place) and Ralph Lister (NRTF) supported throughout by Catherine Greenwood (The Place). In addition a number of touring schemes were asked to comment on a long shortlist of companies prior to final selection and they included The Touring Network (Scotland), Carn to Cove (Cornwall) and Take Art: Rural Touring Service (Somerset).

Commenting on the Rural Touring Dance Initiative, the NRTF’s Development Director, Ralph Lister, said:

“The response we received was beyond our wildest expectations. Contemporary dance is not something you would normally associate with rural locations so it is particularly encouraging that so many people working within this area of the arts are positive to the idea of exploring the concept” Ralph continued: “Due to the superb quality of the applicants it was hard to select just the nine – in fact we originally only intended to take eight forward. The final list though is a wonderful blend of people we have worked with previously and shows that have already been well received in places such as the Edinburgh Fringe, with others that we are starting new collaborations with and ideas that are at the very beginning of their journeys.”

James Wilton of James Wilton Dance expressed his delight about being involved with the initiative: "I am thrilled to have been shortlisted for the Rural Touring Dance Initiative for many reasons. I am really excited about my choreographic idea and the intimate rural touring setting would be the perfect setting for it. I relish the challenge of having my work in many venue types-from large scale venues to village halls and believe that the physicality is capable of reaching out to people in all environments. Also, having grown up in, and now living in a rural setting it is essential for me to present work within these communities and settings."