This November I was approached by China Plate Theatre to see if I would be interested in running a seminar session at the National Rural Touring Forum’s Rural Touring Dance Initiative ‘Dance Lab’.
The Dance Lab would bring together Choreographers – many of whom had not worked on a rural touring scale before with promoters, producers, touring schemes and me!
Naturally I leapt at the chance to help educate people who were new to rural touring in the quirks and challenges, but also benefits of the format.
I put together a presentation and worked out the areas I wanted to focus on. I soon realised that there was a lot of information to convey! How do you compress eight years of rural touring into an hour and a half!
Each Choreographer had a show that would be touring in the 2019/2020 season and so many had quite specific concerns relating to their own production.
The presentation was to be held in a village hall in Norfolk, a fitting setting with pillars down the centre of the space illustrating some of the considerations that needed addressing in the planning phases of a tour.
The feeback from the session was great with many attendees commenting that they had a much better knowledge of the practical challenges they were facing and for some a plan on how best to achieve that.
I have since been invited back to present at the 2019 Dance Lab in Dorset.
In 2021 the conference moved online and I presented my session via a pre-recorded presentation, whilst answering questions live as the presentation played out. This was a very interesting new format and whilst it took a little time getting used to talking to myself while recording, it was a great opportunity to get to grips with a technology we might see much more of in the future!