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Dance scheme lands £500k to bring top shows to rural towns

A rural touring dance scheme in the UK has been awarded a £500k Arts Council boost.

23rd November 2017
/ By Matthew Whitehouse

A theatre NC

The scheme was set up in 2015 to bring the 'most exciting contemporary dancers' to rural areas in the UK. 

Now, thanks to the Arts Council, it will extend its work for three more years after receiving £500, 000 in funding.

Formed in response to an Arts Council review which found 2% of dance companies toured rural areas, The National Rural Touring Forum joined forces with dance institution the Place, producers China Plate and Somerset based dance agency Take Art.

Alison Lord, Dance Director of Take Art, told Stage: "Establishing a network of Rural Touring Scheme Dance Ambassadors is a key development for the next phase as is greater involvement of children and young people. 

"We are excited to be part of this ground breaking audience development initiative and are determined to make it a great success".

RTDI will receive a further £416, 855 from the Arts Council's touring fund and aims to provide 195 performances in the UK over the coming years.

The fund will continue until 2021.

“The new funding, announced today, will allow the Rural Touring Dance Initiative (RTDI) to build on its success by working with more local rural touring schemes and venues, delivering 195 performances over the next three years across England, Wales and Scotland," wrote the Place in a statement.

“This is an increase on the 115 performances staged in the first three years of the RTDI, which included touring shows by Uchenna Dance, Lost Dog, Luca Silvestrini’s Protein and Joan Clevillé Dance.”

“The new funding follows overwhelmingly positive responses to the project from participating rural touring schemes and promoters, with 93% of promoters reporting an increased interest in promoting dance and 100% of touring schemes reporting that the RTDI increased their interest in programming dance.”

A film about the RTDI has been made by Director Rachel Bunce and can be viewed here:

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