On tour with m¡longa


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One week, nine shows and four m¡longa venues down, we caught up with LIPA student Roy Quinn, who is on tour with m¡longa, and quickly learning the ins and outs of a Dance Consortium tour.

m¡longa is a sizzling production just like the sizzling weather we had for my first week out on tour!

I was previously on the Alvin Ailey tour in Autumn 2016 and was lucky enough to come back for m¡longa. First stop was London, I was truly excited for London as I had not been in the city for such a long time but more importantly I was spending the next few days in the famous Sadlers Wells Theatre, a venue steeped in dance history!

After receiving a tour of the wonderful building by Heather Knight, it was straight down to business. Heather went through some details for the tour and what I would get up to this time; for this tour I would look after social media via various platforms and have more responsibilities in each venue. We also discussed the tour schedule – as per usual, changes had occurred.

I had the pleasure of seeing the show on the opening night but before the show I worked at the pre-drinks event which was by invitation only. I worked on the front desk making sure the right guest went in and gave them their tickets and programme. For this to run smoothly I organised each ticket into envelopes and placed them in alphabetical order by second name. Soon it was show time. The production was amazing! After the show, we had post show food and drinks. This allowed dancers, crew and invited guest to all mingle and chat. I used this as a great networking opportunity.

Tuesday was a busy day with plenty of meetings. We met with Carol who is the company manager for the tour. We discussed issues regarding accommodation especially for Saffron Walden as everybody will be in various hotels and not altogether. We also discussed possible ideas for social media with Carol. After this meeting, I got the dancers and crew together for a group snap outside the theatre.

Following this I met with the lovely Richard Cross, Senior Programming Coordinator at Sadler’s Wells. Richard gave me some great insight to the venue itself plus his role within the venue in the programming department. It was a very interesting conversation where I learnt a lot about how shows are programmed into a venue. Richard opened my eyes to the fact that not every show gets picked. After the show Tuesday night, I went for a late night walk around London town to see some famous landmarks at night. It was a lovely evening. During the Wednesday show I prepared the stage door list for Birmingham.

Everybody travelled on the Thursday to Birmingham except me (due to an interview). On Friday I travelled up nice and early and straight into work in the delightful Birmingham Hippodrome. It was great to be back here after visiting in the autumn. I attended a meeting with Heather about finance. From this meeting, I realised I definitely do not want to work within finance!!! After this meeting I met with Ros Robins, Executive Director of Dance Consortium. She explained her role within the company which was nice as I wasn’t clear as to what her role entails. She also talked about the structure of the company and how it works. We also discussed the heavily debated topic Brexit and what it could mean for touring within the entertainment industry and for the UK. I got to watch the show again in Birmingham and words cannot describe how incredible it is, time and time again! After the show, we had a Q & A session led by Ros and featuring Nélida Rodríguez (Tango consultant and Rehearsal Director) and Fernando Marzan (Composer, Musical Director and Pianist). Saturday approached and Heather let me look after the day. I dealt with front of house with programmes and getting posters for the company archive. We had a tango workshop class in the morning which was taught by Esther Garabeli and Martin Epherra. It was a lovely class and I took plenty of pictures and videos for social media.

We all had a free day Sunday to explore Birmingham. And today, we travel to Southampton – see you there!