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Rural Touring Dance Initiative

The Rural Touring Dance Initiative (RTDI) is a national project which supports dance artists & rural promoters to make great dance performance events happen in rural spaces.

RTDI was launched in 2015 when The Place, National Rural Touring Forum (NRTF), China Plate and Take Art joined forces to address the lack of quality dance in rural spaces. From the start, RTDI has introduced some of the UK’s leading dance companies to rural touring including Lost Dog, Luca Silvestrini’s Protein, Uchenna Dance, Scottish Dance Theatre, Mr & Mrs Clark, Jo Fong and George Orange, and Joshua ‘Vendetta’ Nash.

Over the years RTDI has transformed UK rural dance touring. An evaluation report of the project’s second phase published in 2022, highlighted that 98% of audiences enjoyed watching the performances, with 88% saying the experiences made them want to see more dance, demonstrating demand for high quality touring dance.

In July 2022, the current RTDI partners (The Place, Highlights, NRTF, Sonia Sabri Company, Take Art) were awarded £400,000 from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and £450,000 from Arts Council England to continue the project from 2023 – 2026. As well as supporting 10 new associate venues to programme dance in rural areas and market towns, many of them in Levelling Up for Culture places, the funding will enable RTDI to support eight dance artists & companies per year to tour their work to rural areas, with over 200 performances and 90 workshops expected between autumn 2023 and summer 2026.

RTDI: Autumn 24/Spring 25 Menu

In July 2023, RTDI partners announced a national open call for dance makers with tour ready shows. Artists who wanted to tour their work to rural areas applied, and the seven shows on this menu were selected by a panel which included representatives from the rural and dance touring ecology.

We are excited to support these seven incredible productions to develop tours and meaningful relationships into rural communities. For more information on bookings or engaging with RTDI please contact Courtney Beadle.

Power in Numbers

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% of audiences enjoyed the performances



Performances and 90 workshops expected between Autumn 2023 and Summer 2026



Dance artists and companies supported per year

Project Gallery

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