Claire Smith, Project Manager for our Rural Touring Dance
Initiative, reports back after a fascinating few days at British Dance
What have me, Cardiff, lots of men in pants and a number of rural touring scheme managers got in common?
The answer is British Dance Edition (BDE), which took place in beautiful Cardiff Bay this year!
With the groundswell of curiousity and enthusiasm in part, I hope, generated by the Rural Touring Dance Initiative, five touring scheme managers attended BDE funded by bursaries from the project. Kirsty Thomas (Live and Local), Rosie Cross (Highlights), Gilli Goodfellow (Arts Out West), Claire Ayres (Beaford Arts) and Karen Kidman (Creative Arts East) met up with representative from other schemes who had gone independently or on other bursaries (Tim Smithies from Carn 2 Cove, Rhiannon McIntyre from The Touring Network and Peter Gregory from Arts Council Wales’ Night Out scheme) along with Ralph Lister (NRTF Development Director) and myself – we made quite an impression…
A performance by Vertical Dance Kate Lawrence at BDE 2016
BDE is the Dance Industries principle contemporary dance showcasing event. It was very exciting to be immersed into this world of dance for a few days, seeing over 15 performances.
The shows ranged from those suitable for studio spaces to large scale extravaganzas. There were performances from very edgy new companies and companies very familiar to rural touring like Motionhouse and Phoenix.
BDE is a chance for the contemporary dance worId to showcase its best work, so I was delighted to see that a number of the companies on our Rural Touring Dance Menu were featured in the programme.
I came away feeling that there was huge potential to build relationships with dance companies, beyond the ones that already exist with the rural touring community. There was a real interest from artists.
My other thoughts were around the need to involve more designers and technicians in our conversations to help tackle some of the practical problems creatively. It also struck me that there is potential to open up associated spaces in our communities for dance, maybe we should be looking beyond our village halls to barns, open spaces, car parks etc as places for dance to happen?
“It was fabulous, I loved it. Felt like it was really useful as I learned a huge amount. It was great being able to watch work and to then talk to other rural touring managers/dance experts/performers immediately after. And it really helped to guide how I evaluate the work and how others might too.” Karen Kidman, Creative Arts East
There will be a host of opportunities to go to festivals or performances as part of the dance project so, if you work for a touring scheme, don’t miss out. The ‘Go and See’ offer will be sent to schemes shortly – so don’t miss it amongst the Easter eggs – get out and see some dance and come back and tell us about it!