Over the last few years, Echo Echo has developed a very important creative partnership with LUXe. The Echo Echo Ensemble has taken part in a range of processional theatre and landscape theatre events produced by the Donegal based company led by Mark Hill and Mandy Blinco. From Halloween in Derry, to New Year’s Eve in Dublin, to Chinese New Year celebrations in Hong Kong, and many other large-scale public events around Ireland at at Earagail Arts Festival, LUXe productions are consistently high quality and engaging for audiences of all ages.
“LUXe have tremendously enjoyed both the skill and approach of the Echo Echo team that they have joined with on a variety of projects. Initially dancing with our processional sculpture and physical performers in the Hong Kong Chinese New Year International Night Parades and then working together on site-specific Landscape Theatre events at dusk along the beaches and islands of the Donegal Coast. The improvisational skills of the company have helped LUXe build regular successful “Processions of Light” through Dublin city centre heralding in the New Year since 2012 and regularly complement our civic incursions across the country throughout the year. We find that the high creative and improvisational skill level at Echo Echo and the adaptive confidence of the team complements the free and professional approach of LUXe enabling the creation of great beauty in the public arena. We enjoy laying the ground, establishing images and outlining the path with the confidence that our performers have the individual strength and intuitive coordination to bring our world to life with movement and moments of magic.
It is perhaps interesting to note that LUXe’s connection with Echo Echo was initially sparked by the involvement of our children (now grown) in their dance classes and has developed in the realisation, after working with a variety of over-choreographed dance groups internationally, that the gentle self empowered approach of the Echo Echo team truly complements our own generative approach when creating bespoke performance.” Mark Hill and Mandy Blinco
Echo Echo will be performing with LUXe at Awakening the Walls – a series of performances and installations around the City Walls of Derry – this weekend from Friday 28th to Sunday 30th October through each evening.
Echo Echo has been working with St Patrick’s Primary School in Dunamanagh, County Tyrone over the last year on a range of dance and movement workshops and the school’s end of year performance.
Both Echo Echo and St Patrick’s PS are very pleased to have been supported by Give Inc Giving Circle through the first half of 2016 to help make this project happen.
Ayesha Mailey of Echo Echo said:
“It is such a pleasure to work with the pupils of St Patrick’s PS again. Staff and pupils are enthusiastic and committed to an ongoing partnership. The Principal, Jacqueline Carlin, understands the value and importance of the work. She has witnessed the benefits translate into the classroom. We’re very grateful to have this funding provided by Give Inc Giving Circle to continue this work through 2016 especially when many projects are squeezed by lack of funds. I take great pleasure in watching the pupils develop and grow in their movement skills. An ongoing project like this gives the children a real opportunity to experience creativity in movement, make further developments and cement knowledge over a much longer period.”
All 37 pupils of the school participated in 20 weekly sessions and groups were split into three class/age groups. Feedback from all pupils was gathered in feedback forms designed by the senior school class. Here’s a small sample:
St Patrick’s School Principal, Jacqueline Carlin said:
“This is a very successful activity which links both music and dance. It provides a great vehicle for the children to showcase their creative and expressive talents to parents and the community. At the end of the school year in June we had a major performance of music and dance in which all of the children took part. The event was held in the local hall and very well attended by parents and other members of the community. In these times of austerity this role of creative development has increasingly fallen on schools and we are privileged to be able to fulfil this through the expertise, dynamism and commitment of our Echo Echo dance tutor, Ayesha Mailey.”
Echo Echo’s partnership with St Patrick’s PS continues in autumn 2016 with support of Derry City and Strabane District Council for a six week performance project with Donemana PS culminating in a joint performance.
In addition to this, both schools will participate in Echo Echo Festival of Dance and Movement 2016 when visiting Japanese artists Chico Katsube and Shoko Kashima will perform at Donemana PS as part of their programme of performances around the north west during the international festival in November 2016.