Beyond the Village Hall - Rural Touring Dance Initiative

11 March 2022

Take Art joined forces with NRFT, The Place, and China Plate in 2015 to deliver the Rural Touring Dance Initiative (RTDI). This innovative project, funded by Arts Council England, is helping to increase the quality, quantity and diversity of dance promoted by Rural Touring schemes all over the country. So far the scheme has worked with 40 companies, promoting 140 shows to just under 13,000 audience members.

“It is hard to put into words how special rural touring is. It is almost like visiting family you haven’t yet met. In all the experiences we have had with this show, we have met people who are doing the job voluntarily and so they are doing it with a passion. We have stayed in people’s houses. It feels so opposite to how touring usually works where we don't even meet the person who programmed the show. That adds to the quality of the work.”


Since 2018, the RTDI partners have consulted widely with colleagues across the sector – including promoters, scheme managers, artists and producers – to develop a plan for the future of RTDI. We are hugely grateful to all who have taken part in this process and given generously of their time and enthusiasm.

We are currently fundraising for three more years of the project which responds to the ideas we have gathered and the developments the sector wants to see, with touring beginning in autumn 2023. We hope to announce a call out for works to appear on the next RTDI menu in summer 2022.

The project has been made possible by a grant from Arts Council England’s Lottery-funded Strategic Touring Programme. RTDI would also like to thank dance organisations Dance East and Pavilion Dance South West who have supported and contributed to the Rural Touring Dance Initiative to enable dance to reach more people in rural communities. 

Grateful thanks also to Arts Council Wales and The Foyle Foundation for supporting a commission of a new work and the Children and Young people element of the project.