Rural Touring

Rural Dance Touring Initiative - call out for artists

The National Rural Touring Forum (NRTF) has joined forces with The Place, Take Art and China Plate to initiate a new 3 year project to stimulate the touring and making of dance for rural areas, funded by Arts Council England through their Strategic Touring programme. This project is currently in its second year.

We are seeking artists to take part in this project. There are opportunities to tour existing shows to rural locations in autumn 2017 and spring 2018.

Successful applicants will be entered into a ‘Menu’ of companies offered to the national network of rural touring schemes. This will be the second menu produced by the project. The first included the following companies; Protein, Lila Dance, Phoenix, Joan Cleville, Sonia Sabri, Spiltmilk, Lost Dog and Panta Rei. Over 60 shows were booked through the first menu. 

If you are interested in these opportunities please read all the guidelines fully, including the FAQs & Criteria. We look forward to hearing from you!

Why tour rurally to village halls?

In the UK there is a wide network of rural touring schemes which work with voluntary promoting groups (village hall committees, pubs, local schools, church halls, community groups) to bring professional performing companies and artists to perform in their village or community venue. Rural venues are those outside towns and cities – from Surrey to the Highlands of Scotland. In 2012/13 there were 3,200 live performances with an audience of 280,000 in rural areas. 

The audiences and venues in rural areas are as diverse as in urban areas. Many artists have discovered how rewarding and enriching rural touring can be. It is a chance to share your work with different audiences, who have fewer opportunities to experience dance, in unique and distinctive venues, in often beautiful locations. 

“…it is like performing to family”

“…the village halls are somebody’s baby…they absolutely love their village hall and they’d do anything to make sure that it’s packed out with people…you feel sort of privileged that you’re invited into their setting to share what you’ve made with them.”

“The variety of audiences and venues continues to surprise and excite me. You can find a rural venue and audience for shows as long as it will fit through the doors and is good.”

“It’s also always an incredibly intimate experience that involves you briefly in the life of a community you might never otherwise enter into.”

Through the Rural Dance Touring Initiative we seek to work with dance artists to develop and tour dance work to rural audiences and village halls. Dance is underrepresented on the rural touring circuit and we want to increase opportunities for rural audiences to experience brilliant new dance. 

If you have any questions about your application, please contact Claire Smith or call 07720032546