Echo Echo Ensemble Artists, Ayesha Mailey and Kelly Quigley, and Ronan McKee from Play Percussion recently completed a movement and drumming programme with two Newbuildings primary schools.
The course took place over 12 weeks through autumn and winter 2019/20 culminating in a sharing event with teachers, family and guests at Echo Echo Studios in February 2020.
Have a look at the beautiful collection of images from the final rehearsals and sharing event by Patrick Duddy Photography below.
A big thank you to the Derry City and Strabane District Council Good Relations Fund who supported the project and also to Council officers Pauline O’Neill and John Kerr.
And of course huge thanks to all of teachers and staff at St Columba’s PS and Newbuildings PS who were an absolute pleasure to work with, and to all of the pupils who took part with great commitment and had a lot of fun.
My residency at ‘Echo Echo’ was a time of taking away the shields. I worked daily in the studio and received a balanced amount of encouragement and challenge by the team members of ‘Echo Echo’ in the form of conversations, studio visits and joining their practices.
I came to ‘Echo Echo’ after the talks with the artistic director of ‘Echo Echo’ Stephen Batts that made me realize that I strongly appreciate the principle thoughts on watching dance and from there on making dance that he has shortly shared with me, while watching works at ‘New Baltic Dance Platform’, Vilnius 2019*.
Having spent the time at the residency I can confirm my first impressions: ‘hey, this is valuable’ and add that the principles upon which the ensemble works are deeply thought through and rigorously practiced so that to be developed, maintained and further crafted. This in my eyes allows conscious artistic development of the ensemble artists and their works as well as builds ‘Echo Echo’ theater as a house for people – people who once start taking classes here seem to be strongly motivated to go further, know more. The approach to dance they experience here catches them as generous, interesting, powerful.
I feel strengthened by having had this exchange that I experience as a human to human encounter with the strong motivation to dance and know more about dance. In particular, I would mention the ways of being aware of and using phrasing and rhythm in dance as what allows dance to make sense.
I strongly hope to be able to continue further working with these in the future and spread the understanding and hopefully the further development of these in the circles of my colleagues as well as stay in touch and work with the team of ‘Echo Echo’.
I hope that ‘Echo Echo’ will continue working and will have the support needed to maintain their work and share it with more people. I strongly believe that most of my colleagues would deeply appreciate encountering the ‘Echo Echo’ way of working.
*Editor Note: Steve Batts attended as the representative of Dance Ireland and wrote a detailed blog about this.
Echo Echo Residency Programme
All Echo Echo programmes are paused at present due to the Coronavirus pandemic however you can see further information on the Echo Echo Residency Programme here: