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Dancing into village halls

Posted on September 5, 2017

Six dance companies will tour to small rural venues across the UK this autumn, supported by Rural Touring Dance Initiative (RTDI). Supported by the National Rural Touring Forum (NRTF), the programme includes works by bgroup, Hiccup, Uchenna, James Wilton, Keira Martin, Just Us Dance Theatre and Lost Dog.

Bgroup’s Point of Echoes is the first work commissioned by RTDI. Set on an unnamed lighthouse, it was created by Ben Wright and musician and writer Stuart Warwick and will visit venues in Somerset, Devon and Cornwall from September 11 to 24. The Hiccup Project’s May-We-Go-Round (pictured above) which explores the merry-go-round of romance, will visit Cornwall in October.

Uchenna’s The Head Wrap Diaries is an interactive dance theatre work, which blends club styles and African and contemporary dance with comedy to look at beauty, hair and culture. It will visit venues across England from October 6 to November 25.

James Wilton Dance’s Last Man Standing, which visits venues in Dorset and Wiltshire from October 7 to 21, draws on Terry Pratchett’s novel The Last Hero. The choreography draws on martial arts, break dancing and capoeira.

Here Comes Trouble, choreographed by Keira Martin and directed by Charlotte Vincent, draws on cultural influences from Yorkshire, Ireland and Jamaica. From October 13 to 28, the show will tour to venues in Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cornwall.

Just Us Dance Theatre’s It’s Between Us was choreographed by Joseph Toonga, one of the company’s founders, with Dickson Mbi, who is known both for hip hop dance and for his work with contemporary choreographer Russell Maliphant. The show, which explores divisions and support within a friendship, will visit venues in Kent, Yorkshire and Cheshire from October 19 to November 11.

Following the success of previous rural tours, Lost Dog’s Paradise Lost (lies unopened beside me) will tour to the Midlands in early December. (See Dancing Times September 2017 for Zoë Anderson’s interview with Lost Dog’s Ben Duke.)

For full dates and details, visit ruraltouring.org

Uchenna Dance in The Head Wrap Diaries. Photograph: Foteini Christofilopoulou

Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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