Rural Touring Dance Initiative

Making the best dance happen in small spaces


About the project


In March 2015, Arts Council England’s ‘Rural evidence and data review’ (March 2015) found that only 2% of NPO funded dance companies toured to rural areas in 2012/13.

Since then, the NRTF (National Rural Touring Forum), have joined forces with The Place, Take Art and China Plate to launch an innovative initiative for making and touring dance performances in order to increase the reach and impact of dance in rural settings. 

Originally a 3 year project, the Rural Touring Dance Initiative has now been extended for a further 3 years making the project live until Summer 2021. The aims of the project are to seek out great dance companies that are excited to tour rurally, and to support rural promoters and schemes to build audiences for dance in rural spaces. 

Menu 4 was launched in January 2019:

Featuring work by Lost Dog, bgroup, Phoenix Dance Theatre, James Wilton Dance, Lila Dance, Joan Cleville Dance, Uchenna Dance, Corali, Shane Shambhu and Tom Dale Dance. 

For more information about the RTDI and the first phase of the project:

Or contact Claire Smith -

Companies touring in Spring 2019

                                                                                                                                  Lost Dog | Juliet & Romeo

                                                                                                                            James Wilton Dance | Leviathan

                                                                                                         Shane Shambhu | Confessions of a Cockney Temple Dancer 

                                                                                                                        Unchenna Dance | Hansel and Gretel

                                                                                                                           Joan Cléville Dance | The North 

                                                                                                                          Lila Dance | The Hotel Experience 

                                                                                                                       Corali Dance | Technicolour Everyday 

Companies touring in 2018

                                                                                                                                      bgroup | The Keepers 

                                                                                                                      Uchenna Dance | The Head Wrap Diaries 

                                                                                                                      James Wilton Dance | Last Man Standing 

                                                                                                                           Keira Martin | Here Comes Trouble 

                                                                                                                      Just Us Dance Theatre | It’s Between Us

                                                                                                                           Splitmilk | The Little Love Cabaret 

                                                                                                                                 Curious Seed | Chalk About

                                                                                                                       The Hiccup Project | May-We-Go-Round

                                                                                                                Lost Dog | Paradise Lost (lies unopened beside me)

                                                                                                     Luca Silvestrini’s | PROTEIN: May Contain Food, May Contain You

                                                                                                                        Joan Cléville Dance | Plan B for Utopia

Companies Touring in 2016

Touring to various rural touring venues throughout October/November.
For full listings and dates click here.


LOST DOG | Paradise Lost (lies open beside me) | 7 - 15 October

JOAN CLEVILLE | Plan B For Utopia | 11 - 12 November

PANTA REI | I Wish Her Well | 2 - 9 October

SPILT MILK | Say Dance | 13 - 15 October & 25 - 26 November

SPILT MILK | Blast From The Past | 21 - 23 October

PROTEIN | May Contain Food - May Contain You | 6 - 29 October

LILA DANCE | Deluge | 18 - 19 November



Project Partners

The National Rural Touring Forum (NRTF)

The National Rural Touring Forum represents a number of mainly rural touring schemes and rural arts development agencies, across England, Wales and Scotland that aim to help local people to promote high quality arts events and experiences in rural and other community venues. NRTF members include rural touring schemes, voluntary promoting groups, performing companies, artists, musicians, producers, small venues and festivals.

The Place

The Place has been a driving force for contemporary dance in the UK for 45 years. The Place is unique and is comprised of a training organisation, a producing and receiving theatre, the home of Richard Alston Dance Company and a hub for hundreds of independent artists. Our artist development department provides professional development, training, residencies, commissioning and producing support for dance artists at each stage of their career.

About Take Art

Take Art is a pioneering arts charity based on a farm in rural Somerset. Uniquely it houses both a County Dance Agency and also a Rural Touring Service (alongside other Services). It has a commitment to both supporting the development and promotion of high quality arts practice, working with artists and companies locally, nationally and internationally. It also aims to enable Somerset residents to experience and participate in high quality arts activities.

The Strategic Touring Programme

The Strategic Touring programme is designed to encourage collaboration between organisations, so that more people across England experience and are inspired by the arts, particularly in places which rely on touring for much of their arts provision. Its aims are that people across England have improved access to great art visiting their local area. 

This includes:

·         better access to high quality work for people in places in England which rely on touring for much of their arts provision
·         more high quality work to reach people and places with the least engagement
·         more high quality work on tour connecting more effectively with people across a wide range of venues
·         stronger relationships forged between those involved in artistic, audience and programme development on both the supply and demand side of touring
·         a wide range of high quality work on tour, including in particular more work by and for children and young people, and more work by and for people from diverse backgrounds