Robin Hood, Castles and Tango!

m¡longa dancers Claudio Gonzales and Julia Urruty posing with the famous Robin Hood statue outside Nottingham Castle


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Hello! LIPA student Josh Davies is back on tour with the Dance Consortium, this time with a unique take on Argentinian Tango: m¡longa.

We’re currently on our long journey up to the Edinburgh Festival Theatre, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to reflect on my first few days back on tour. I was lucky enough to speak to Rachel Watson, the Finance Officer at The Royal Concert Hall and Theatre Royal Nottingham. In her 21 years at the venue she has taken on a multitude of roles, before finding her feet in the finance department. Rachel still undertakes multiple roles at the venue – working in Finance, the Stage Door and as Crew within the few days we were there! The venue (which is currently undergoing redevelopment works) is Local Authority led which was interesting to compare policies, in contrast to commercial led venues I visited on my previous tour. I was also interested to learn about whether the Finance team had a say in programming at the venue, which Rachel discussed was becoming more important in today’s society – although the venue had to balance variety in its programme with more commercially successful shows.

Saturday I was lucky enough to meet Ian the Truck Driver, who has over twenty six years experience trucking for dance, theatre and conferences; and has even driven cranes in Iraq. He gave me a tour of his truck which featured all the home comforts of a cooker and a fridge, although he has no TV or Playstation as he prefers to read. Ian told me driving for Dance Consortium was one of his favourite jobs as Heather made him so welcome and  “part of the team”. It was interesting to learn an overview of trucking (and the restrictions it has) for reference for touring work of my own in the future.

Carol (Company Manager) kindly allowed me to borrow two of the dancers for a social media adventure. We went on a search for Robin Hood (we could only find the statue unfortunately) and Nottingham Castle to capture some memorable moments from the show. I was also lucky enough to watch the show which featured some incredible technology which really got me thinking about incorporating technology into my own shows in the future.

Later we went to Marrakesh (a restaurant, not a holiday), where I had a great networking opportunity with people from around the theatre industry – including Sarah Kell, Programming Manager at The Buxton Opera House (a new Dance Consortium venue for 2018) and Adam Knight (Heather’s “older brother”) who was previously Operations Director at The Belfast Grand Opera House and is now Programme Manager at Ulster Hall and The Waterfront. This was once again a fantastic opportunity provided by Heather and the Dance Consortium to make invaluable contacts with influential people within the theatre industry.

In Edinburgh I will be working more on social media, hoping to capture the process which goes into the dancers’ make up routines.