Echo Echo Festival of Dance and Movement 2021 – Photographic Reflections

This year we decided that it would be a nice idea to spend time sharing some of the beautiful images that our festival photographer Simon Alleyne captured from our past festival. We realised that over the years we have collected so many images that have not been made public, and thought this such a shame – that we really should invest the time this year in sharing these images with you. We thought this even more important as due to Covid-19 restrictions of 2021 many of the festival performances were without an ‘invited, live audience’, so we wanted to give you another opportunity to see documentation of these performances. Over the past couple of months you may have seen some of our social media posts, spotlighting images of various artists who took part in this year’s festival. Very much in keeping with the societal conditions that Covid-19 has imposed, these are all images of ‘solo’ dancers.

Many of the posts to date have been focussed on our ‘Together Alone: Solos in City’ project where 20 artists of various ages performed 3 short solos in their chosen locations around the city of Derry-Londonderry. Below we recap on the artists that we have featured and if you are interested in seeing more images, each photo links to the respective gallery post on FaceBook.

Esther Alleyne – Good friend and colleague of Echo Echo looking out over the Bogside from the City Walls.
Liam Cunningham – Friend of Echo Echo and dedicated member of Body Wisdom Programme dancing solo outside Altnagelvin Hospital
Naya Duffy dancing in Prehen Woods – Naya is the daughter of Ayesha Mailey, Ensemble Artist and Assistant Artistic Director of Echo Echo
Tonya Sheina, Echo Echo Ensemble Member – performing a solo on the Derry Quay
Dance Artist Lihi Shivak performing solo outside An Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin as part of ‘Together Alone; Solos in the City’

All of the site specific solos for ‘Together Alone: Solos in the City’ were performed in the first week of our festival programme in September 2021. They were filmed by local film-maker and musician Colin Norrby who then produced a short film ‘Amid the Noise and the Haste’ for which he also composed the music. The film created was a beautiful, touching, cinematic experience that was premiered at the end of the festival, accruing much positive feedback. We feel the film is really something special and greatly deserves a life beyond the festival – so we have been pondering a few ideas for the films future and how we might get it to reach wider audiences – we hope to share these plans with you in the next year.

Our retrospective social media posts have also featured images from the programme of ‘Live Stream Solos’ which formed part of the past festival. During the pandemic year we learnt a lot about how to present live-streamed work in a professional but friendly way, with several very successful Zoom performances well received by a strong multi-national audience. On four evenings of the 2021 festival, a member of the Echo Echo Ensemble performed a ‘Livestream Solo’ alongside an invited member of our Body Wisdom Programme for over 50s.

Body Wisdom Artist Tina McCauley performing a ‘Livestream Solo’ at the Echo Echo Festival 2021
Echo Echo Ensemble member and Associate Director, Ayesha Mailey performing a ‘Livestream Solo’ at the Echo Echo Festival 2021
Body Wisdom Artist Maggie Hannon performing a ‘Livestream Solo’ at the Echo Echo Festival 2021
Echo Echo Ensemble member Kelly Quigley performing a ‘Livestream Solo’ at the Echo Echo Festival of Dance and Movement 2021
Body Wisdom Artist Majella Biernat performing a ‘Livestream Solo’ at the Echo Echo Festival of Dance and Movement 2021

If you enjoyed viewing these images, we have many more to share – keep an eye on our social media channels. We hope to see you all again soon!

The Echo Echo Festival is supported by The Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Derry City and Strabane District Council