When we first heard about Dance Consortium and possibility to go on tour with Heather Knight and French dance company “Compagnie Käfig” back in January, it seemed so far away in the future that today, as we write our first blog post, we still cannot believe that it is already happening. Every year two Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) management students are chosen to join a touring company for a couple of weeks. We have been extremely lucky and on 6th of April we have joined Dance Consortium and Compagnie Käfig on their UK tour. It is a huge honour to be here and have an ability to learn about touring in practice. We are going to be travelling with the company until the end of their tour on 19th of April. The first days on this tour we have been in Salford and we loved it! Time flies while learning something new with every step you take. We have learned so many things in just three days it is going to take a while to write them all down. In this blog post, we are going to overview our time in Salford and list most important things we have done and learned.
First of all, The Lowry Theatre left us speechless. It is amazing in so many ways – colours, size, shows, people and so on. On our first day in Lowry, we have met a technical manager and were given a tour around the building. For any manager who works in a theatre or brings something in, it is crucial to have at least some basic knowledge on how things work in technical side. This way there are no misunderstandings and delays concerning equipment and lighting. We have seen three different theatre spaces within the building – The Studio, The Quays Theatre and The Lyric Theatre. All spaces have different technical abilities and different atmospheres. The Studio is a small space and is usually used for classes, workshops or small performances. The Quays Theatre is bigger, around 470 seats, and is usually used for comedies and cabaret shows. It has amazing red design and is very technically flexible – seats can be taken out and replaced with additional staging area or tables and chairs for the cabaret. The biggest and, therefore, the most spectacular one is The Lyric Theatre. It is very purple and has more than 1800 seats! Our Boxe Boxe show looked amazing in this space!
Secondly, we have built some different marketing knowledge as well. We have attended Lowry’s Youth Dance Ambassador’s meeting where they were discussing the production of new promotional video. Even though we were just observing the process, we realised how important it is to involve young people into marketing – they know what youth are interested in and which marketing tools reach them the best. Lowry’s Ambassadors run social media and organise workshops for those, who would like to get involved.
Also, we have learned a lot of new tips of touring. We are only listing few of them because it would take a whole new page to write them all.
#1 Be flexible – things change and so should your plan. It is good to have everything planned but it is not the end of the world if something does not work out. Just find a way to solve it and you will be fine.
#2 Check the keys – to keep good relationship with theatres, you must respect their staff and belongings. One of them, for example, are the keys. Always keep a track on who had them last and make sure it is returned to the reception/stage door in the evening.
#3 Charm helps – be nice to people and they will be nice and willing to help you too.
#4 Good time keeping – it is better to be on time but it is the best to be early. If other people see that you arrive early, they may too so work can be done quicker.
#5 Double check everything – and then check again. It is better to spend some time on checking than feeling guilty when something goes wrong.
The cherry on top for our experience in Salford was, of course, Boxe Boxe show. We have never been into dance very much so there is not much to compare this show to but it was amazing. Dance as art and boxing as sport seem to have nothing in common but when they both are put together it creates something very different but it works! Moreover, classical music used in this show brings even more colours to the performance and makes it a must-see piece. We are going to write a detailed show review soon too!
So that is our first blog post summarising Salford. So far so good – cannot be more excited to explore and learn more!