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Highland dance company prepares for final tour

Neil Joseph Price of Plan B, performs Tantalus
Neil Joseph Price of Plan B, performs Tantalus

An Evanton-based dance company is undertaking a farewell tour of Scotland before closing due to funding cuts.

Plan B, one of Scotland’s leading dance companies, will close at the end of March.

The company has spent 30 years of creating and presenting a wide ranging and original programme of work, including original productions, residencies, community projects, classes and workshops.

Before winding up, the company is undertaking a short tour to venues throughout Scotland.

Nick Fearne, general manager, explained the reasons for the closure. He said: “We unfortunately weren’t able to get further funding from Creative Scotland in the last round.

“We had regular funding from Creative Scotland from 2015-18 and after three years everyone had to re-apply. Unfortunately we were unsuccessful.

“After a lot of discussion with the board we took the decision to continue with the show in March.”

Plan B received about £650,000 from Creative Scotland for the three-year period April 2015 to March 2018.

But it lost regular funding status and was instead awarded £108,000 transition funding for the six-month period from April to September 2018.

Tantalus is created and performed by Neil Joseph Price.

It is his first piece of choreography and the production has original music composed by Shooglenifty’s Quee MacArthur, and is designed and directed by plan B’s Artistic Director, Frank McConnell.

Accompanying Tantalus is A Pair of Genes, a dance theatre duet choreographed by McConnell for himself and Price. The piece delves into how our invisible genetic make-up contributes to a sense of identity.

In DNA analysis, though related by blood, one of the performers exhibits an additional chromosome; and with technology ever increasing, the show considers the imperceptible de-population of people with Down’s Syndrome.

The music for A Pair of Genes has been composed by David Trouton, and the production is designed by Miranda Melville.

Tantalus and A Pair of Genes opens at Tramway, Glasgow, on March 7 and then visits Ullapool on March 8, Resolis on the Black Isle on March 9, Ardross in Ross-shire on March 22 and Lyth Arts Centre in Caithness on March 23.

Over its three decades plan B has been a pioneer for the development of contemporary dance and theatre in Scotland.

Artistic Director, Frank McConnell said: “Although this is plan B’s final production, the company is looking forward to touring to audiences across Scotland for the last time.”

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