Festival 2018 thanks and photos…

Echo Echo Festival Closing Concert with BASORK – image by Simon Alleyne

What a Festival we had this year with over 50 events taking place! So many highlights, connections and new friendships – and so many people and partners to thank.

We are truly humbled by the incredible feedback we have received already from audiences, participants and artists this year. Everyone has commented on the welcoming atmosphere at the Festival and throughout the city and region.

To all of the artists – thank you for bringing and sharing your work with a such a spirit of kindness and generosity. The quality of work and performances was exceptionally high.

To our audiences of all ages, returning and new, thank you for your warm appreciation and continued enthusiasm, and for genuinely contributing so much more than simply turning up to watch.

To the Festival funders, community partners and schools involved – thanks for supporting our Festival vision and for your continued encouragement to produce an inspiring and challenging event. The Festival would simply not be possible without the input of so many organisations and their individual staff members.

To all of the Echo Echo staff, directors, collaborators and colleagues behind the scenes – thanks for all of your hard work and dedication! A huge effort, often invisible, and an extraordinary level of commitment from a small team of people!

Echo Echo Festival of Dance and Movement will return in 2019!



Echo Echo Festival Team

  • Artistic Director – Steve Batts
  • Associate Artistic Director – Ayesha Mailey
  • Company Manager – Ailbe Beirne
  • Development Officer – Anna Nolan
  • Technical Manager – Barry Davis
  • Technical Support – Simme Wiesniewski, Freeda Gronowski
  • Echo Echo Ensemble – Ayesha Mailey, Kelly Quigley, Zoe Ramsey, Tonya Sheina
  • Publicity artwork and design – Ciaran Harley of zoocreative
  • Publicity support – Leeann Toland, Brian Fisher
  • Photography and video – Simon Alleyne


Echo Echo Festival Thanks

Thanks to Simonetta Alessandri, Jamie McCarthy, Tanya Soubry, Anne Gaelle-Thiriot, Kirsty Arnold, Mary Ann Hushlak, Anne Lok; Lucia Walker, Nastya Saevich, Tanya Fateeva, Masha Grudskaya, Genya Dybovskaia, Joleen McLaughlin, Amanda Koser, Stephanie Pawula, Ayesha Mailey, Kelly Quigley, Zoe Ramsey, Tonya Sheina; John Scott and Irish Modern Dance Theatre; Barbara Fuchs, Emily Welther and tanzfuchs-PRODUKTION; Manoli Moriaty, Brian Bridges and ISSTA; Mary Wycherley, La Cosa Preziosa, Rory Tangney and VOID; Wei-An Hwa; Ferenc Fehér and David Miko; Sahar Damoni; Susan Koper; rikilikemagic / Rachel Sheil; Julie Chapple and Maxine Chadburn (Future Leisure); Suahee Abro and Lucia Moretti (LBWL Collective); Linda Fearon, Cinzia Savoniti and Helen Hall (Luminous Soul); Zoe Uí Fhaoláin Green and Dingle Camphill Community; John Deery; Marty Coyle and all of BASORK. Thanks also to all of the participating artists funders, colleagues and supporters.

Thanks to all of the artists and companies from around the world who applied to the Festival Open Call. A record 212 entries this year!

Thanks to Gilly Campbell and all at Echo Echo’s principal funder ACNI and the National Lottery; Jacqueline Whoriskey, Ailish McDaid and all at Derry City and Strabane District Council; Gillian Goode and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation; Halifax Foundation NI.

Thanks to Department of Culture Heritage and Gaeltacht and Aoife O’Sullivan at DCHG for support with the Festival All-Ireland Outreach and Bursary Programme; and thanks to our venue partners and staff at Dance Ireland, Crescent Arts Centre, Firkin Crane, Galway Dance Project, An Lab Dingle, and The Dock Arts Centre.

Thanks to all of  the 2018 Festival Bursary recipients Emily Mickus, Marketa Formanova, Oran Leong, Wanting Wu, Maggie Breen and Selma Daniel.

Thanks to JP Conaghan and all at The Playhouse for supporting a Festival residency project; all at Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast; Derry Craft Village and Inner City Trust; Soda & Starch; Ulster University; Fiona Pender and Thornhill College; Audrey O’Donnell and St Cecilia’s College; Nadine Hegarty and Fireworks Dance; Donemana PS; St Patrick’s PS Donemana; Cumber Claudy PS; St Columcille’s PS Claudy; St Columba’s PS Newbuildings; St John’s PS; Aine Bradley and Good Shepherd PS; Sinead Crossan and Ardnashee College; Sevenoaks Care; Praxis Care; Christine O’Kane and U3A Foyle.

Thanks to Jim O’Neill, Carmel Mulrine, Meabh O’Neill, Majella Biernat, Roger and Marie Manktelow, Olek Wójcik, Liam Cunningham, Bernadette Sheils, Robin Wilson, Mollie Egan-Crossan, Seamus Kennedy, Gerry McGoldrick, Richard Walsh; to Echo Echo directors past and present – Deirdre Gillespie, Paul Johnston, Cath McBride, Esther Alleyne; and to everyone else who supported the Festival from near or far.


Echo Echo Festival Photo Albums (links to Facebook)

Manoli Moriaty & Two Ensembles Project at ISSTA 2018 / THE SHAKES by Simonetta Alessandri and company


HEROES by John Scott


Photos by Simon Alleyne










Third year of Echo Echo Festival outreach and bursary programme…

Echo Echo Festival Symposium – image by Simon Alleyne


For the past three editions of the Echo Echo Festival of Dance and Movement we have been supported by the Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht (DCHG) in Dublin to offer a number of bursaries to support attendance at the festival in Derry by Ireland based artists.


Each year Echo Echo artists travel throughout the whole of the island of Ireland to give workshops introducing Echo Echo’s ‘Poetic Movement‘ approach to dance and outlining the ethos of the festival to professional dance artists and experienced students of dance. Over 140 people have participated in the all-island programme to date and participants in these workshops get the chance to apply for one of the festival bursaries.


The grant from the DCHG provides support towards travel and accommodation and Echo Echo provides free access to festival events to bursary recipients. This year we have been able to offer six bursaries. Two support attendance at the whole festival and four support attendance during the busy final three days.


In previous years the bursary programme has been very effective in supporting the professional development of Ireland based dance and movement artists and in nurturing creative relationships between Echo Echo and colleagues based through the island of Ireland. The bursary programme has been an important factor in the development of the Echo Echo Artist in Residence Programme, supporting the regional and national profile of the company, and in energizing the attendance at Echo Echo events such as the Contact Improvisation Festival and professional development workshops.


This year we are very happy to be welcoming Wanting Wu (Belfast), Oran Leong (Dublin), Emily Mickus (Limerick), Maggie Breen (Dingle), Marketa Formanova (Sligo) and Selma Daniel (Kildare) to the Festival as the 2018 bursary recipients.


Thanks to the 2018 Co-operation with Northern Ireland Funding Scheme managed by the Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and to all of the Echo Echo Festival supporters.


Culture-Heritage-Gaeltacht-High-Res (2)

6 reasons why Echo Echo Festival is making a difference to audiences and artists


As the sixth edition of Echo Echo Festival of Dance and Movement gets underway have a read about what some past audience members and participating artists had to say about the international festival…


  1. Inspiring audiences


“Brilliant! I wanted to watch them every day, every hour, every moment of my life. I will never forget it!”


“This was like something I have never experienced before. The strength beauty and storytelling of the artists was nothing short of mesmerising. I will definitely want to see this dance company again. Thank you Echo Echo.”


“Exhilarating, spine tingling, never imagined so many words could be left unsaid.”


“Inspiring on so many levels. An amazing range of talent from so many disciplines of such high quality is rarely seen in Derry. The festival is extraordinary.”


Echo Echo Festival with two primary schools in Donemana
  1. Working in local schools


“Thanks for today. It was a wonderful experience this morning. The way the performers adapted to the spontaneous participation of some of our pupils was truly magical. I wish we had it videoed. A young man with severe learning difficulties said to me during the show, “This is amazing”. It is a rare occasion to have external performers so in tune with the needs of our children. The feedback was incredible.”


”We found the story-telling and music enthralling and appreciated the connection that the dancers made with each other and the audience.  Our students spoke at great length about the dance afterwards and how much they enjoyed the performance. Many thanks to the company for coming to our school.”


Pfffhh... - ein Gummi-Schlauchspiel
tanzfuchs return to Echo Echo Festival on Sunday 11th November 2018


  1. Engaging children and young people


“Everyone can participate in these workshops, and this is what makes them truly special: professional dancers, children, pensioners, dance amateurs and teenagers… Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company provides the space for people to come together and relate to each other.”


“I loved it. It was imaginative. I really liked the fact that the children were encouraged to take part.”


“Echo Echo is a place like no other. It is the only performance space/theatre I have attended over a long life that has such a unique and welcoming atmosphere, both for audience members and participants.” 


“Lovely! First time ever watching something like this. The kids loved it, the dancing and singing and music were all fantastic! Not a peep!”




Jusztina Hermann and Robert Peoples took part in a previous Festival Open Call then followed up with an artist residency and performances at Echo Echo Studios

  1. Supporting artists to make and present new work


“It was incredibly easy working with Echo Echo to organise our performances during the festival. As a company, we really appreciated how quickly we could communicate with the different members of the team. Any questions we had, regarding the publicity materials or the technical aspect, were answered extremely quickly. The whole team at Echo Echo went out of their way to make us feel welcome and at home – it was truly a pleasure to work in such an environment.”


“Performing two nights in a row had a particular impact on the development of this work.  It gave us the opportunity to see how we and the work responded to a repeat performance.  In fact we found our second performance to be much better than the first.  It also gave the opportunity to see international work and performers which is inspiring and allowed us to make connections with what is happening elsewhere in the world and in dance.”


“I would like to stress how important I feel an Open Call evening is as part of a festival. Many festivals don’t do Open Calls and it can be difficult for emerging artists to access these platforms. I really appreciated this opportunity and I would like to thank everyone of the Echo Echo team sincerely.”


“The various artists, organisers etc were very open and curious to get to know me, showed an interest in my work, shared ideas and thoughts; all this included made the festival very special. This creates interesting meetings and moments for all to grow, expand as a human beings and creative artists.”


LAVA-Dansproduktion workshop at Echo Echo Festival - image by Living Witness
LAVA-Dansproduktion workshop at Echo Echo Festival 2017 with local and national visitors
  1. Connecting the dance community in Ireland


“Many many thanks for your overall innovative approaches to spreading dance across Ireland, and coming directly to us as professional practitioners throughout Ireland, with your workshop/ info tour. Very innovative and effective.”


I loved the wholesome and caring feeling of the whole festival. I appreciated the inclusivity; it is actually a quite rare thing. I also loved the fact we got to work and learn with artists whose performances we saw. It made both the performances and the classes more meaningful and resourceful.


THE SHAKES by Simonetta Alessandri and company opening the 2018 Echo Echo Festival
  1. Bringing national and international visitors to Derry


“We absolutely loved Derry. The craft village, the vintage stores, the wall walk. We took a tour on the third day and loved it. We discovered the long and heavy history of Derry. Neither of us had ever been to Derry before and we would both gladly go back.”


“Thank YOU for welcoming us so open-heartedly, and allowing us to experience one of the most inspiring weeks of our life! We truly had a wonderful time, not only on stage but also during the workshops, the symposium, and exploring Derry and its environs!”



Join Echo Echo to move or be moved!


You can get involved in Echo Echo Festival of Dance and Movement. Come and try a performance, class or special event for yourself!


Learn more: http://www.echoechodance.com/whatson


With thanks to: