Rural Touring Dance Initiative

In 2015 the NRTF joined forces with The Place, Take Art and China Plate to launch a brand new 3-year initiative for making and touring dance performances to and for rural areas.

In 2017 NRTF again joined forces with the RTDI partners and were awarded £417,855 over 3 years to continue to develop and support dance in the rural touring sector.

Rural Touring Dance Initiative: Full Film from RB Films on Vimeo.

The first two seasons of touring were completed in autumn 2016 and spring 2017, featuring eight companies from the first RTDI menu. You can read all about this first phase of the project on our RTDI Archive page.

The second RTDI menu was announced in January 2017, with 75 applications recieved. The chosen companies will be touring in autumn 2017 and spring 2018. You can view the 2nd menu here.

We are thrilled to announce that dance will continue to be developed and supported in the rural touring sector following an annoucement in November 2017 that £417,855, over 3 years has been awarded to  NRTF on behalf of the partnership that makes up the Rural Touring Dance Initiative.

The bid spearheaded by NRTF's Development Director Ralph Lister was fully supported by schemes and the existing partners The Place, China Plate and Take Art.

RTDI 1, due to finish in July 18 has already seen really positive changes in attitides towards dance.

RTDI 2 will now be able to continue this work beyond July 18 for a further 3 years.  

12th January saw the launch of RTDI Menu 3 - the first of 3 Menu's  featuring some of the most dynamic and charismatic contemporary dance companies in the Uk.

The majority of these companies have honed their Rural Touring experience over previous tours and we are delighted to see them back as part of  Menu 3.

They are Lost Dog, bgroup, Phoenix Dance Theatre, James Wilton Dance, Lila Dance, Joan Cleville Dance and Uchenna Dance. They are joined by Corali, Shane Shambhu and Tom Dale Dance.

Rural Touring Schemes now have until 19th February to register their expressions of interest.

The 3rd Menu and booking form is available to download to the right of this article and in our Resources for Touring scheme section.


Click the logos below to find out more about our partners. 

The project has been made possible by a grant from Arts Council England’s Lottery funded Strategic Touring Programme.

Whoever you are – if you want to keep in touch with what’s going on you can visit this page, click on the links to the right for more information and latest news stories and check out the links to our partners page and the background to the project. Details on the first two seasons of the project can be found on the RTDI Archive page.

On Twitter you can follow @rural_dance and use the hashtag #ruraldance, like our Facebook page and you can also sign up to our Storify for all the twitter action so far.

If you’d like to be added to the rural dance mailing list, to be among the first to know the latest project news, please email Alice Porter at