The challenges of setting up a dance company – Adam Rutherford feature

Adam Rutherford @Chris Nash

Dance alumnus Adam Rutherford is a choreographer, dancer and Artistic Director of Rutherford Dance Company (RDC) and RDC Youth. Since graduating from Trinity Laban, Adam has gained a plethora of experience performing, choreographing and directing rehearsals around the globe. He recently talked to Dance UK about his experiences -

What made you want to become a choreographer?

"I was an inquisitive student at Trinity Laban and was eager to gain knowledge from the choreographers I was fortunate enough to work with. Under the guidance of some great teachers I learned tools that could be applied to choreographing and my creative energy had found a purpose.

"As a member of Transitions Dance Company I experienced the different working processes of five choreographers, each with only two weeks to create a new piece of work, and the variations in approach and workings of each artist kept my eagerness for knowledge burning.

"After graduating and working as a professional dancer, I carried on asking questions and was always intrigued by all of the elements that made a show - how the addition of the lighting, sound and costumes could bring a piece of work to life never ceased to amaze me."

What challenges do you think choreographers face today?

"Lack of time, space and money. I don't feel there is enough opportunity to research and develop ideas for choreographers as you often find yourself under pressure to showcase your findings very close to the start of the creative process.

"In addition, it is hard to get your 'foot in the door' as a choreographer, especially if you're transitioning from a career as a dancer. There is also the ongoing need to network and create links across the industry, this is so important but can often be exhausting and can sometimes overshadow the art itself. Saying that, the business is competitive, more than ever, so I think it's essential to share skills and cross collaborate for personal growth and artistic development.

"Lastly, I think I speak for a lot of artists; when you are a self-managed artist, or have your own small company, you have to wear many hats and it can be difficult to stay focused on the primary reason the company was founded in the first place."

Pic - Adam in Transitions performing Henri Oguike's Brightside. Picture credit - Chris Nash

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