The Rural Touring Dance Initiative Will Make its Way Around the UK

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The Rural Touring Dance Initiative Will Make its Way Around the UK

Kicking off the start of a new decade and celebrating five years, the Rural Touring Dance Initiative (RTDI) will tour a fresh selection of shows created by dance companies whose work has been enjoyed on both national and international stages and can now be seen in village halls and rural venues across the UK. The shows on offer have been selected by local promoters from 'menus' which enable them to choose the work that best suits their venue.

The Spring touring shows are an eclectic mix of dance adaptations of classic novels and real-life stories and will visit an ever-growing audience in rural communities, taking them from east London to India, from holiday camps to operating theatres. The initiative is a partnership between the National Rural Touring Forum, The Place, China Plate and Take Art.

Based on the internationally adored story by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince is brought to life using Luca Silvestrini's Protein's award-winning mix of dance, humour and text, inviting us to look at the world through one's heart and to reconnect with our inner child. Upon landing on planet Earth, the Little Prince is welcomed by a mysterious snake and a truly wise and friendly fox before encountering the lone pilot. Together they discover the power and beauty of friendship and the complexity of love.

As a child Dan Watson lost a British holiday-camp dance competition, largely because he totally misunderstood what competitive dance was, and they didn't play his song of choice: Venus by Bananarama. Combining contemporary dance, confessional and comedy, VENUS is the dance he would have performed had he known better, had he been braver.

Breakout juggling stars Chris Patfield & José Triguero present Gibbon, a humorous and surreal show combining mesmerising juggling with dance and physical theatre. Together they explore the absurd and comedic in what it is that drives us to try and try again. Lifting the veil on the rehearsal room Gibbon shows how two charming performers work at working as one.

Developed in association with a leading surgeon Under My Skin is a show about surgery and operating theatres drawing on classical Indian dance technique Bharata Natyam and real-life surgical procedures. Three razor sharp dancers invite the audience to share an insider's perspective on surgical procedures, where intricate detail, timing and precisely controlled exchanges are not just an artistic goal, but a matter of life or death.

Louder Is Not Always Clearer follows Jonny, a teacher, an artist, a campaigner and an avid football fan. He's just become a father, and he is deaf. He loves to dance, but he can't hear the music unless the bass is turned right up. Louder Is Not Always Clearer focuses on the importance of connection with others and the struggle to do so affectively and a warm, humorous and honest portrayal of a man perceived to be full of confidence, who is inwardly vulnerable and at times isolated.

After winning the 2017 Rural Touring Award for the most innovative and inspirational show for their previous show, Paradise Lost (lies unopened beside me) Ben Duke's Lost Dog return with Juliet & Romeo which imagines Shakespeare's infamous lovers as middle-aged and in therapy. Through its playful blend of dance, theatre and comedy, Lost Dog picks apart out cultural obsession with youth and our inability to accept uncomfortable truths.

And returning to the rural touring circuit after Autumn touring dates, Confessions of a Cockney Temple Dancer sees Complicité Associate Shane Shambhu reflect on his personal journey of growing up in east London, learning and performing Indian dance in the UK, and plays with the ways in which race, language, identity and culture have defined him.

Speaking about the forthcoming season RTDI Project Manager Claire Smith said "Rural schemes and audiences are so looking forward to the RTDI spring season. Across the country we are seeing audiences confidence and enthusiasm for our RTDI brand of dance/theatre grow year on year. People who have never thought of going to see dance are returning, showing a loyalty to companies who are returning with their second or third show as well as embracing companies that are new to the scheme. The quality and diversity continues to impress."

In 2015 The National Rural Touring Forum joined forces with The Place, China Plate and Take Art to launch a brand-new initiative designed to assist in the making and touring of contemporary accessible dance to rural areas. The project was set up to address the paucity of dance performance happening in rural areas in smaller community venues. The project has been made possible by a grant from Arts Council England's Lottery funded Strategic Touring Programme. Due to RTDI successes in November 2017 the project was given a further £417k to develop the project until July 2021. Over 160 performances have taken place to date along with numerous workshops and training opportunities for artists.

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.

Listings information

Please note dates may be subject to change, please contact local schemes for confirmed details

Luca Silvestrini's Protein - The Little Prince

25 Jan Cerne Abbas Village Hall | Artsreach Dorset

26 Jan Black Torrington Village Hall | Beaford Arts (Devon)

31 Jan SpArc Theatre , Bishops Castle | Arts Alive (Shropshire/Herefordshire)

1 Feb The Guild Hall, Gloucester tbc | Strike A Light

2 Feb Hatch Beauchamp Village Hall | Take Art (Somerset)

6 Feb Fallibroome Academy Macclesfield | Cheshire Rural Touring Arts

7 Feb Kenilworth Centre | Live and Local

Mr and Mrs Clark - Louder is Not Always Clearer

29 Feb The Seagull Theatre Lowestoft | Creative Arts East

6 Mar Gleaston Village Hall | Arts Out West (West Cumbria)

7 Mar Castle Carrock Village Hall | Highlights (Cumbria)

12 Mar Blakehay Theatre, Weston Super Mare | Theatre Orchard, Somerset

13 Mar Churchinford village Hall | Take Art (Somerset)

14 Mar The Centre Newlyn | Carn to Cove (Cornwall)

18 Mar AMATA, Falmouth | Carn to Cove (Cornwall)

19 Mar The Beehive Honiton | Villages in Action

Patfield and Triguero - Gibbon

5 Mar Ropsley Village Hall, Lincolnshire | Live and Local

6 Mar Norwell Village Hall, Nottinghamshire | Live and Local

14 Mar Sawley Village Hall | Rural Arts (North Yorkshire)

Sadhana - Under My Skin

20 Mar St Georges Theatre Gt Yarmouth | Creative Arts East

21 Mar Gillingham School | Artsreach Dorset

27 Mar The Market Theatre Ledbury | Arts Alive (Shropshire/Herefordshire)

Lost Dog - Juliet & Romeo

23 Apr Newhampton Arts Centre | Black Country Touring

22 Apr Neasham Reading Rooms | Rural Arts (North Yorkshire)

25 Apr Meole Brace Memorial Hall | Arts Alive (Shropshire/Herefordshire)

2 Jun The Pound Arts Centre | Wiltshire

12 Jun Manor Hall, Berrynarbor tbc | Beaford Arts (Devon)

Dan Watson - VENUS

24 Apr The Gather Ennerdale | Arts Out West (West Cumbria)

25 Apr Askham and Helton Community Hall | Highlights (Cumbria)

3 Apr Blakehay Theatre, Weston Super Mare |

4 Apr Portreath Millennium Hall | Carn to Cove (Cornwall)

8 May Newhampton Arts Centre | Black Country Touring

9 May tbc Creative Arts East

Tbc, Portsoy Church Hall, Banuff | NEAT

Altered Skin - Confessions of a Cockney Temple Dancer

30 Apr Rhosilli Village Hall | Night Out Wales

1 May The Small World Theatre Cardigan | Night Out Wales

14 Mar Thimblemill Library, Smethwich | Black Country Touring

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