The consortium seeking to bring more dance to rural venues is on the lookout for artists to take part in its next phase
The project is supported by Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring programme and an award from Arts Council Wales
The RTDI is keen to maintain a diverse programme and is interested in hearing from BAMER, disabled artists and those creating work suitable for children and families in particular
Application deadline: 12 noon, Thursday 5 th September 2019
The Rural Touring Dance Initiative (RTDI), a partnership between The Place, Take Art the National Rural Touring Forum and China Plate has launched a call out for dance artists to tour their work to rural spaces across the UK. The project is made possible by a second major award from Arts Council England Strategic Touring program and an award from Arts Council Wales.
The project, which has previously supported artists including Lost Dog, Protein, Joan Cleville, Uchenna Dance and bgroup, is an opportunity to tour existing work to rural locations. In addition to guaranteed show fees there is a limited number of bursaries averaging £1200 for artists with existing shows to adapt shows for rural touring. Companies who have toured with the RTDI have averaged 7 supported shows with fees varying from £850 to £1400 depending on scale and cost. There is also a paid for residential workshop exploring touring dance to rural locations to prepare artists for the experience.
The RTDI is keen to maintain a diverse programme and welcomes applications from disabled and BAMER artists. And in addition to its usual program for adult audiences is invested in touring work suitable for children and families.
The deadline for applications is midday on Thursday 5 Sep 2019. Artists will be notified that they have been selected for the 2020/21 menu the week commencing 7 Oct 2019, followed by a Practical Introduction to Rural Touring for Contemporary Dance Lab 13 – 15 November 2019 in Dorset.
For the RTDI, Project manager Claire Smith said “The RTDI is going from strength to strength –dance is being repeat programmed by promoters who would not have thought about promoting dance a few years ago and audiences are loving it – so apply and get involved ! “
Dance treats from the Rural Dance Touring Initiative sees returning favourites and new offerings in rural villages
bgroup, Point Of Echoes 9 Feb – 17 Mar Splitmilk, The Little Love Cabaret14 Feb – 10 May Luca Silvestrini’s Protein, May Contain Food – May Contain You 23 Feb – 28 Mar Keira Martin, Here Comes Trouble 2 – 3 Mar Lost Dog, Paradise Lost (lies unopened beside me) 8 – 17 Mar Just Us Dance Theatre, It’s Between Us 9 – 16 Mar Joan Clevillé Plan B For Utopia 23 – 24 Mar James Wilton, Last Man Standing 13 – 24 Apr Hiccup, May-We-Go-Round 26 Apr Curious Seed Chalk About11 May – 1 Jun
Continuing to bring new and adapted dance work to village halls and other small rural venues across the UK often unreached by touring arts companies, the Rural Touring Dance Initiative (RTDI) is serving up a feast of performances with ten dance companies in Spring 2018. The National Rural Touring Forum’s (NRTF) three-year dance focused scheme – which has now been extended for another three years – served up its first ‘menu’ of work to regional touring schemes in 2016, and their Spring programme is a continuation of their second menu which started last Autumn.
Point of Echoes by bgroup is the first new work commissioned by the RTDI, especially for the rural touring circuit. Set on an unnamed lighthouse, at an unknown time, somewhere on the coast of England, Point of Echoes is created by renowned UK choreographer Ben Wright and musician and writer Stuart Warwick. After performances in RTDI’s second menu in Autumn 2017, it receives a full tour this Spring.
Other shows continuing to tour with RTDI from last Autumn include James Wilton Dance’s Last Man Standing based on Terry Pratchett’s The Last Hero, Here Comes Trouble choreographed by Keira Martin and directed by Charlotte Vincent, Just Us Dance Theatre’s It’s Between Us, and The Hiccup Project with May – We – Go – Round.
From the first menu of work presented in Autumn 2016, three favourites will return to RTDI: Luca Silvestrini’s Protein, May Contain Food, May Contain You, a witty dance and music production encouraging audiences to bring their own locally produced food to the theatre and consider the sensory, cultural and social implications of food, Joan Clevillé’s Plan B for Utopia about how creativity and imagination can change the world, and Lost Dog’s Paradise Lost (lies unopened beside me) which won the Most Innovative/Inspirational Show at the inaugural Ticketsource National Rural Touring Forum Awards in June.
Two brand shows to tour RTDI this spring are The Little Love Cabaret from Spiltmilk is a scrapbook of real-life love stories from contributors aged 2 – 93 from across the country. Somewhere between a sketch show, dance performance, confessional, and a gushing love letter, Spiltmilk Dance rejoice in all things that make life brilliant. Finally, Chalk About from Curious Seed turns the stage into a gigantic chalkboard to explore the nature of identity.
Speaking about the tours, Claire Smith, Project Manager of the Rural Touring Dance Initiative said We have been delighted with the response to our fabulous cohort of companies in this our 2nd RTDI Menu – companies new to Rural Touring and those returning for a second time are very excited by the reaction of audiences. We have seen audiences new to dance returning to see more – they liked it so much first time round!”
The Rural Touring Dance Initiative is an ongoing scheme which has recently been extended until 2021 for making and touring dance performances to and for rural areas. Made possible by a grant from Arts Council England’s Lottery-funded Strategic Touring Programme, the initiative is led by National Rural Touring Forum (NRTF), which joined with dance institution The Place, arts charity Take Art and independent producing studio China Plate to deliver the scheme.
@rural_dance | #ruraldance | www.ruraltouring.org
Listings information Please note dates may be subject to change, please contact local schemes for confirmed details
bgroup, Points of Echoes
Live and Local Friday 9th Feb – Saturday 10th Feb Night Out Wales Thursday 15th Feb Wiltshire, Rural Arts Friday 16th Feb Carn to Cove, Cornwall Weds 21st Feb – Saturday 24th Feb (no performance Thursday) Highlights, Cumbria Friday 2nd Mar Workshops Fleetwood Thursday 8th Mar Spot On, Lancashire Friday 9th Mar Live Lincs Sunday 11th Mar Night Out Wales Saturday 17th Mar Spiltmilk, The Little Love Cabaret
Black Country Touring – Wolverhampton Wednesday 14th Feb Black Country Touring – Smethwick Thursday 15th Feb Wiltshire Rural Arts Friday 16th Feb Spot On, Lancashire Saturday 3rd Mar Night Out Wales Thursday 10th May Luca Silvestini’s Protein, May Contain Food, May Contain You
Arts Alive, Shropshire/Hereforshire Friday 23rd Feb Spot On, Lancashire Saturday 10th Mar Highlights, Cumbria Friday 16th Mar – Saturday 17th Mar Take Art, Somerset Saturday 24th Mar Night Out, Wales Wednesday 28th Mar
Keira Martin, Here Comes Trouble
Take Art, Somerset FrIday 2nd Mar Air in G, Gloucestershire Saturday 3rd Mar
Lost Dog, Paradise Lost
Carn to Cove, Cornwall Thursday 8th Mar – Saturday 10th Mar Artsreach Dorset Saturday 24th Mar Arts Alive Shropshire Wednesday 21st Mar NEAT Scotland Friday 16th Mar – Saturday 17th Mar
Just Us Dance, Its Between Us
Theatre Artsreach, Dorset Friday 9th Mar Carn to Cove, Cornwall Saturday 10th Mar Arts Alive Mini residency, Thursday 15th Mar & Friday 16th Mar
Joan Clevillé, Plan B for Utopia
Rural Arts On Tour, N. Yorkshire Friday 23rd Mar – Saturday 24th Mar
James Wilton Last Man Standing
Independent -Theatre Orchard Friday 13th Apr
Beaford Arts, Devon Saturday 14th Apr
Carn to Cove ( Leviathan ) Tuesday 24th Apr
The Hiccup Project, May-We-Go-Round
Independent – Strike A Light Thursday 26th Apr
Highlights, Cumbria Friday 11th May Cheshire Rural Touring Arts Sat 12th May 2pm NEAT Scotland Thursday 18th May – Friday 19th May Carn to Cove, Cornwall Saturday 26th May Wiltshire Rural Arts Sunday 27th May Creative Arts East – Youth Residency Tuesday 29th – Thursday 31st May Black Country Touring Friday 1st June
Notes to editors
The NRTF has identified a paucity of dance on the rural touring circuit and the development of a dance project is evident in its business plan. As a result of a fruitful relationship that has developed with The Place and a successful dance showcase at the New Directions Conference 2014, curated in partnership with China Plate, there is momentum to develop dance and rural touring – 89% of conference attenders scored the dance showcase highly or very highly. Through its members the NRTF can access a huge rural touring circuit with over 2,000 promoters. Individual rural touring schemes will play an integral role in the successful roll out of the project.
The Place has been a driving force for contemporary dance in the UK for 45 years. The Place is unique and is comprised of; a training organisation, a producing and receiving theatre, a home for a national touring company and a hub for hundreds of independent artists. Our artist development department provides professional development, training, residencies, commissioning and producing support for dance artists at each stage of their career. Having developed a relationship with the NRTF and after attending the New Directions Conference there is an understanding, excitement and new commitment to supporting dance artists and the dance sector to engage with and take advantage of rural touring opportunities.
China Plate’s portfolio of activity encompasses developing, making and programming new work. They have worked closely with the NRTF for a number of years and curated the New Directions Showcase Festivals in 2012, 2014 & 2016 and programmed the Edinburgh Village Halls Project 2011 – 2013. They are interested in the interrogation of ideas and form and believe that rural communities should have direct access to the highest quality contemporary work. The cross over between dance and theatre is of particular interest and over the last few years China Plate has developed close links with Dance East, programming dance with them into the Pulse theatre festival and worked with Warwick Arts Centre to programme, commission and develop work with a number of choreographers including Charlotte Vincent, Tom Dale and Aakash Odedra.
Over the last decade Take Art has hosted the Somerset county dance agency, supporting the infrastructure for the development and promotion of professional dance in Somerset. It has also run a rural touring scheme since 1987 and the services have worked and gained experience together. Take Art was the lead county dance agency in Up Close, the first south west rural touring dance project in partnership with Dance South West in 2007. The current Dance Director toured rural schemes extensively as a dancer with Pretty Good Girl Dance Theatre in 2009 and 2010. Its hands on experience of and commitment to dance and rural touring at a local level provides the partnership with a grounded perspective.
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.
Each month we’ll be profiling one of this seasons Rural Touring Dance Intiative companies! First up we have bgroup who won the first ever RTDI comission to make a dance show specifically for rural touring.
What are you most looking forward to?
A warm welcome for the most part 😉 Point of Echoes is an exciting return for us to touring work in the UK. After spending the last three years choreographing more large scale work for Opera and Theatre stages in Sweden, this challenge of developing an intimate work specifically conceived to work in non-theatre spaces has been extremely engaging. We are looking forward to the proximity of performing up close to our audiences whilst retaining certain epic proportions within the production.
What have you packed in readiness for rural locations?
An area Press coffee maker, a full bag of Huel ‘nutritionally complete food’, oh and a van packed dot the hilt with set costume and lights.
How do you think it will be different from touring to towns?
I guess it’s the intimacy of the communities involved. We have already been bumping into individuals here in Langport who came to see one of out dress rehearsals, I like the immediacy of the conversation that can ensue. In many ways it feels like the circus has come to the village and it is exciting to be at the hub of that curiosity.
Can you sum up your show in 3 words ?
Kinetic creepy storytelling.
What would you say to anyone who has never seen dance /theatre?
Don’t come with preconceived ideas. We have developed a show that draws on the full spectrum of my working experience and curiosities. Point of Echoes is blend of genres and disciplines. Although the work is based on a script by Stuart Warwick our storytelling methods drift between movement, song and spoken word. I am interested in working expansively, creating a sense of boundlessness, the categorisation of the show is less interesting to me than getting an engaged and curious audience involved. Think an episode of Tales of the Unexpected or The Twilight Zone performed by dancers.
In summer 2018, Applause Rural Touring will be programming outdoor performances into existing, locally organised village fetes, community events and Festivals in Kent and Sussex. These events take place almost exclusively at weekends from May to September.
They are looking to commission companies/artists with an established interest and track record of working outdoors and interactively who would like to be part of this programme.
All work should entertain and engage audiences, be self-sufficient (i.e. not require technical or other support/involvement by the host organisation) and be able to be accessed by diverse, non-age specific audiences. They can be walk about or static productions but they are intended to suit a range of time frames(i.e. does not require the audience to arrive at a certain time and remain for a set amount of time).
For 2018 we are also looking to commission one new outdoor work inspired by spoken word that we can tour as part of our Inn Crowd project that brings exceptional live events to rural/community pubs – http://inncrowd.org.uk
We are offering the following opportunities and expect to take out between 6-8 shows this season:
1 x Inn Crowd (spoken word inspired outdoor work) – commission fee between £3000 – £6000 AO new commissions for outdoor works – commission fees between £3000 – £8000 AO reshaping/development awards for existing works that requires some reshaping to tour rurally – development fees between £500 – £2500 For full details on the application process, including information for companies, and application forms visit http://www.applause.org.uk/outdoors/
This short form is designed to help you asses whether or not your show is Rural Touring ready. We take you through the very basic needs of rural touring and give you a list of things to consider. We also point you to other helpful resources and pages along the way. Please note this form is NOT a way of submitting your show to be considered for touring but should be used as a tool to equip yourself with the knowledge you need to approach schemes.