Wednesday, 22 November 2017 22:59

£417k for rural arts initiative

Written by  Ruralcity Media
£417k for rural arts initiative

A PROJECT to bring arts and dance to rural communities has received a further £417,000 in funding.

The second phase of the Rural Touring Dance Initiative was awarded £416,855 by Arts Council England.

It means the partnership between the National Rural Touring Forum, The Place, China Plate and Take Art can continue its work over the next three years.

    See also: Arts council's ambitious rural investment.

Working with local rural touring schemes and venues, the initiaitive will delive 195 performances over the next three years across England, Wales and Scotland.

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.

Some 93% of promoters reported an increased interest in promoting dance and 100% of touring schemes reporting that the RTDI increased their interest in programming dance.

The second phase of funding will cover curating and supporting three annual ‘menus’ of dance from which which local promoters can select.

Dance companies will be commissioned to adapt existing pieces so they are suitable for rural touring.

In addition, dance companies will make original work for the rural touring circuit.

Touring in spring 2018, the RTDI’s first commission, Point of Echoes, is a collaboration between international choreographer Ben Wright and musician Stuart Warwick.

Further works commissioned especially for rural touring will be developed during the second phase.

There will also be more focus on children and young people, as well as support workshops for promoters interested in staging dance performances in village halls and other rural venues

The Rural Touring Dance Initiative was launched in 2015 with the aim of substantially increasing dance touring in rural England over an initial three-year period, due to end in July 2018.

Speaking about the award, Arts Council England North director Pete Massey said “Yorkshire has a particular strength in dance and I’m delighted that we are supporting the National Rural Touring Forum to develop its dance initiative through our National Lottery funded Strategic Touring programme.

"Working with partners across the country, they will tour to a variety of places that would not usually host this sort of event, enabling rural audiences who may not have experienced dance before to see performances where they live – and to encourage children and young people to get involved."

China Plate director Ed Collier said: "This significant second tranche of funding from ACE will allow us to really embed a culture of making dance for rural audiences amongst the most exciting contemporary dance practitioners and companies.” 

For details, visit the rural touring website.

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