Hello from the ON Tour team at Rural Arts!
Hello from the ON Tour Team!
Many of you will know Jo from her having worked here before. Nicola and I (Sorcha) started here at Rural Arts in September 2017, Nicola as the new Youth Development Officer for #CREATEtour and myself as the new ON Tour Intern.
Since then we've been busy organising many exciting things. We're keen to keep you up to date on everything that we're up to and thought what better way than to do out very own ON Tour Q&A. So read on to get to know a little more about each member of the ON Tour team!
The ON Tour Team Q & A
Tell Us a little but about yourself...
Jo: Hi I’m Jo, the new ON Tour Manager here at Rural Arts, I used to do the role here a few years back and have just come back into the job having had two little girls who are now 3 and 1. I trained as a contemporary dancer so my background is in dance, but I’m passionate about the arts generally and love rural North Yorkshire as a location! I grew up in Sessay, a little village right near Thirsk, went to study in Dundee and then Leeds and am now back in North Yorkshire living in York. I teach weekly Zumba classes as well as specialist school workshops in the area.
Nicola: Before working for Rural Arts I was self employed for a number of years as a dance teacher and have taught all different styles to young people and adults including creative dance, contemporary, baby ballet and zumba. I have also spent time developing my own artistic work with other artists and set up a company in Leeds which developed performances, classes and workshops using dance, drama and music. Prior to this I have worked in other arts management roles including working as Education Manager for Ascendance Rep dance company and Youth Dance Co-ordinator for Yorkshire Dance.
Sorcha: I'm the current ON Tour Intern at Rural Arts. I recently graduated in Fine Art at Newcastle University a couple of years ago and love the arts. I grew up in Kibworth, a village in Leicestershire. My pre-uni years were full of dancing, going to shows, playing in bands and visiting art galleries, so to work at Rural Arts and be part of the ON Tour team is just brilliant, as I get to be involved in all the things I love in life! Alongside my job here, I make my own art; mainly illustrations and abstract video narratives.
What are you most excited about for the upcoming season?
J: I am excited about all the dance companies we have coming through ON Tour this season and in the future months. It’ll be amazing to see RJC perform as a touring company again after their 10 year break. RJC performed for us back in the early days of ON Tour, so it’s lovely to see their work come full circle and be seen by fresh new dance audiences. I’m also really looking forward to seeing ‘Where’s My Igloo Gone’ an immersive children’s theatre on climate change by The Bone Collective. The show is brilliant at engaging young children and the actors interaction with the audience is just really magical. I can’t wait to see how our young audiences respond in rural villages. ( I only saw adults reactions to the piece at a showcasing event).
N: I am excited about RJC Dance coming to Redcar and East Cleveland as well as showcasing here in Thirsk! My first passion is dance so I am enjoying working with the company to plan their first tour over 10 years as well as training promoters more in programming dance and more diverse work. This is exciting for the company and we anticipate it will begin to open up other opportunities for them. We are trying to make the most of this opportunity by shouting about their work and offering as many outreach and ticket opportunities as possible. I am also excited about working with Freebrough Academy as they are really behind the project and have already got 60 young people interested as well as other groups.
S: Chip Shop Chips is definitely one of the shows I'm most looking forward to going along to. I absolutely love theatre and I love chips, so a play that combines both is the dream show to me! I'm also really looking forward to visiting some of our ON Tour Venues this season. It's always lovely to see the wide variety of performance spaces North Yorkshire has to offer and to experience the local community all coming together for an ON Tour show.
What's your favourite professional or semi-professional show you've seen to date?
J: My favourite show to date would probably be Liane Carrol which was part of a collaborate project Rural Arts did with The Shed ‘The Shed ON Tour’ a few years back. Liane’s dates involved a grand piano being transported to all the village venues which was a logistical feat. Her voice is just so incredibly rich and her cheeky character makes her so entertaining to watch too.
N: I would have to say that the Lion King is my favourite professional show to date, I have seen it in London as well as Manchester. The Psalms is my favourite semi professional show - this is a show that my company made with people of all ages and was performed at The Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds over 2 nights.
S: My all time favourite show has to be Matthew Bourne's take on The Nutcracker. It's a show that really stood out to me through how visually stunning it was. During my time at University I also got the chance to see a lot of contemporary performance art, which definitely opened my eye to the potential that sound or dance has to create an immersive experience for the viewer.
What's your favourite thing about working at Rural Arts / Being part of the ON Tour Team?
J: I love working here as every day is different and there’s never a dull moment. There’s always a new project starting and lots of opportunities to partner with new organisations, I really enjoy the partnership working. As our team is all new at the moment we’re all just finding our feet but we’re a young team and I feel we have a lot of energy and enthusiasm to give, so that’s a real strength.
N: I really enjoy the variety of things that I get to do in my role and being part of a busy and creative team. I am also enjoying getting to know and explore all the different areas in North Yorkshire especially the three that I work in…I have seen some very varied and beautiful sites so far including seasides and beautiful parts of the North Yorkshire moors and am getting to know each community and area as they are all so different.
S: I absolutely love the team here at Rural Arts. Everyone's so friendly and it's great to be part of a team that works so hard to deliver top quality events and workshops for North Yorkshire and the local community. It's great to be able to organise and watch performances, help run arts workshops and get involved in marketing, all as part of my work!
If you haven't heard of ON Tour before and would like the chance to programme professional shows in your North Yorkshire venue, take a look at the ON Tour page on the Rural Arts website to find out how you can get involved! Remember to keep an eye out for our ON Tour brochures, lovingly created by our wonderful Marketing Manager Namita!