My name is Rachel, and I am Exim’s Touring and Education Officer.
This has been my first tour with Exim, and I have been lucky to join them at Taunton and Cheltenham. Both of these tour venues were based in education facilities, however were completely different!
One of the things I love about being on tour with Exim, is that everyone gets stuck in! Dancers, choreographer, tour manager and technician all diving in to get the van unloaded at each venue, to turn these wonderful spaces into our stage for the evening. Then after performing a wonderful piece, everyone comes back together to make it look as if we were never there! There is no hierarchy within the team, just a wonderful family touring vibe!
After making sure all our dancers are happy (and fed!) I head to the tech desk with Tim and watch the show, and quite often do the sound desk, which I enjoy! Back at the tech desk is a wonderful place to watch Etch from, as you not only get to see the piece, but you get to watch the audience. Every audience has a different reaction and relationship to the work, and it is lovely to watch from afar. Some people laugh, some people empathise, and some things jog memories within members of the audience which they then share with their neighbour, which is wonderful to see,especially as the work is about what we choose to remember and what we choose to forget, and it’s wonderful to see those processes happening within the audience.
Going on tour has also meant that we have been able to share the creative tasks and processes used to create Etch with students across the country. From using stories and themes from the piece as movement stimulus, to sharing morning routines the dancers did every morning whilst drinking tea! All the groups I have had the pleasure of working with have made some beautiful choreography, and some groups even performed with us in the evening, sharing their work as a curtain raiser to Etch! Giving that students the challenge to create and perform a new piece in a day completely challenged and focused them throughout the day, and feedback from teachers has been fantastic after seeing their students so engaged.
Now we are taking a short break in our tour, my next job is to not only make sure that schools are aware that they can get 20 free tickets to come and see Etch this tour, but to also find more talented dance students to share our work with, and hopefully create and perform more wonderful curtain raisers. If your school or college group is interested in seeing Etch, or performing a curtain raiser with us on our 2017 tour, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rachel Banham – Tour & Outreach Education Officer