Antonina Sheina and Anjelika Doniy reflections on Echo Echo CI Festival

Tonya Sheina at Echo Echo Contact Festival - image by Patrick Duddy
Tonya Sheina at Echo Echo Contact Festival – image by Patrick Duddy

The festival is finished but I can still feel the echo of it. The theme of it was dancing….dancing as simple as that. We propose in Echo Echo that people are naturally poetic in movement. Dancing – it’s people moving with poetic intent. That short statement has long history and practice that Steve Batts and Ursula Laeubli had been developing before establishing Echo Echo.

During the festival Steve performed his new solo piece How To Watch Dancing (Looking Away From The Naked Emperor) that I felt was like a breakthrough and a light in understanding about dancing, its place in art and culture. It was transforming, touching, funny and overwhelming to watch.

For the Festival we had about 40 people joining in. For Contact Improvisation Festival it’s not very big but the quality of dancing at the Jams and classes was very beautiful. I have big gratitude to very experienced and magical teachers of two intensives Anjelica Doniy and Steve Batts. They activated the organic compositional sense in movement and the Jams were the places where it was fully shown.

Big thank you to the teachers who taught the classes and supported the space outside and inside the Jams: Virginia Negru, Xenia Isaeva, Yaeli Margalit, Ayesha Mailey, Kelly Quigley, Zoe Ramsey.

Special thank you to my friend and colleague Zoe Ramsey – we made this festival together and without her enthusiasm, energy and support it just wouldn’t happen. We had a really good starting point: we had two beautiful studios (which is already a big thing) and support of Echo Echo team (which is even bigger).

Thanks to Patrick Duddy who made photographs on one of the days and Olek Wójcik who was helping through out the week and was making videos of the process.

Thanks to Saint Columb’s Park House that provided accommodation and Kerri and Mark at Cow Bog that provided food. Massive thank you to all participants who made it happen and I believe they really enjoyed it. And last thing I don’t know whom to thank for the beautiful weather we had during the festival, but that was just perfect!

Anjelica Doniy wrote a very touching feedback about festival, so I translated it from Russian:

The Festival days are finished in Northern Ireland. It became clear only at the end, why it is not like any other festivals. It was imbued with ideas and philosophy and was in the field of Echo Echo Dance Company that grew out of passion and dancily clever organism of Steve Batts.

 

I have been touched for 17 years and imbued with our friendship with Steve and synchronized with his philosophical concepts about dance, poetry of movement and just honest behavior towards life. We led intensives on different floors and were meeting each other at the Jams. At the Jams we met, our students and the dance. Intensity, awareness, poetry. So I would call them.

 

And the stories. Solo, duet, trio, group. Turning into the performance, the dance behaved unpredictably and everything was watching that dance…

 

I like when the quality of attention(watching) is not inferior to the quality of the movement (dance). In the middle of the festival like a thunderstorm with lightning bolt performance of Steve Batts. How To Watch Dancing Looking Away From The Naked Emperor. I’ve never seen a more relevant introduction to CI at the festival a poetically passionate instruction not to lose dance in illusions about dancing. Challange in search of Holy Grail. To open, catch, dig out the dance from the technique, sleepy relationships, ego expectations, imitations and self-deception. And this is like lightning, awakening of consciousness, a strong shock for the entire value system and a challenge to the priorities of the individual. And if this is not always important at many festivals and CI meetings –  this festival is about this. That’s why it’s so beautiful, special. And dear to me.

 

The organizers of this miracle were Antonina Sheina and Zoe Ramsey. The platform provided by Echo Echo. And these are the people. The same Steve, Antonina, Zoe, Ayesha, Kelly. Teachers, guides in movement. Ailbe Beirne, Barry Davis, Anna Nolan – sound, lighting, development of ideas and projects. Antonina, Soul! Thank you for your clear presence. You supported Steve, me, two daughters, the festival and you participated in everything so totally, as only true love can do. I wish to this festival peace in the country, peace in our hearts and world appreciation.”

Anjelika Doniy intensive at Echo Echo CI Festival - image by Patrick DuddyXT2B3648Virginia Negru class at Echo Echo CI Festival - image by Patrick DuddyEcho Echo CI Festival 2018XT2B3726XT2B3787XT2B3399XT2B3507XT2B3833XT2B3886XT2B3897

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Echo Echo Festival Open Call accepting proposals!

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Echo Echo Festival of Dance and Movement will return for a sixth edition in November 2018.

We are delighted to announce that Echo Echo Festival Open Call is now accepting proposals! The closing date is Friday 29th June 2018.

For further information on how to apply please visit: http://echoechodance.com/whats…/echo-echo-festival-open-call

The Open Call programme has been a highlight of Echo Echo Festival over the last few years with over 400 applicants and 37 short works programmed.

Past Echo Echo Festival Open Call Artists from 2014-17 include:

Nasrine Kheltent; Inna Aslamova; Hilde Ingeborg Sandvold; Anastasia Brouzioti and Yiannis Tsigkris of Alma Libre; Lior Lazarof, Timea Laza and Sharon Barbakov; Bjorn Richter of RichterMeyerMarx; Hannah Rogerson and Pieter Visser of Tea Time Company; Siobhán Ní Dhuinnín and Isabella Oberlander; Collective B, Sonia Borkowicz, Elsa Mourlam, Izabela Soldaty, Vilte Svarplyte; Sarah Herr and Meret Rufener; Nicola Cisternino; Circul’R, David Phiphak, Berenice Dupuis; Sabrina Gargano and Verena Schneider; Aoife Toner; Gary Rowntree, Ryan O’Neill, Catherine Muckle; My Johansson; Erin O’Reilly, Sophie Ammann and Roseanne Briens of Junebug Company; Rachel Sheil; Jusztina Hermann and Robert Peoples of Delighters; Yukiko Masui; Jann Gallois; Mel Bradley and Zoe Ramsey; Helga Deasy; Nastasja Stefanic and company; Sorcha Shanahan; Alba Lorca; Alessandro Sollima; Jessica Peoples and ZoNa Dance Company; Maria Papathanasiou; Ronan Kearney; Claire Bonnie; Argyro Tsampazi; Lily Akerman; Oona Doherty; Sara Campinoti; Sibéal Davitt and Olwyn Lyons; Valeria Famularo; Carie Logue and NWRC Dance.

With thanks to all of the past Festival Open Call artists and their colleagues, collaborators and supporters!

Selection of images from past Open Call / Short Works programmes

2017

2016

2015

2014

Images by Living Witness Photography 

#EchoEchoFest

Echo Echo Festival shortlisted for national award!

We’re delighted that Echo Echo has been recognised in the shortlist for the annual #Emcees Awards for Excellence in Fundraising alongside some very well known arts organisations!

Echo Echo Festival of Dance and Movement has been shortlisted in the Best Campaign Under £100k category for its campaign to produce a fifth edition of the international festival in an increasingly challenging funding environment for many arts organisations and artists working in the province.

Featuring the work of over 50 artists from near and far across 30 events, the 2017 edition of the festival was supported by such a wide variety of funding partners including Arts Council NI, The National Lottery, and Derry City and Strabane District Council.

Local supporters last year included Cultúrlann Uí Chánain, City Cabs, the Sandwich Company, Bennigans and zoocreative.

National support came from the Irish Department of Culture, Dance Ireland, Dance Resource Base Belfast, An Lab Dingle, Firkin Crane Cork, The Dock Carrick-on-Shannon and Galway Dance Project – who supported an ambitious all-island artist bursary programme.

Trusts and foundation festival supporters in 2017 included the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the Esmé Mitchell Trust and the Foyle Foundation who have recognised the value of the work, particularly in reaching out to new audiences in primary and secondary schools around the northwest.

Other elements of the Echo Echo Festival fundraising mix came from new and existing audiences, participants, volunteers and supporters through Festival passes and ticket sales, and some very kind charitable donations.

Huge thanks again to everyone involved in the Festival in 2017 and we now look forward to a sixth edition of the Festival in November 2018.

You can view the full #Emcees Awards shortlist here. Winners will be announced on 1st May.

 

Images from Echo Echo Festival of Dance and Movement 2017

 

Echo Echo Festival 2017 – what they said…

“I most certainly will return to Echo Echo in the future. It is such a unique event in the dance world – I can’t think of another place that is so inclusive, and takes such care in how it communicates its vision of dance.” Artist Feedback

“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.” Artist Bursary Programme Feedback

“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’.” Principal, Ardnashee School

“Amazing. Great performances from all around the world in bite-size pieces. As always exceptional. You would get it nowhere else in the North West.” Audience feedback on Short Works

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

“A jewel! A Masterpiece! All literature, art, poetry…..danced! So beautiful, tender, magnificent, I don’t think I have ever seen anything so good!” Audience feedback on Voices/Echo Echo

 

New projects for 2018/19 at Echo Echo Studios

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Contact Festival Bucharest – image by Alina Usurelu

Echo Echo begins a new term this weekend with huge uncertainty hanging over the arts sector again this year due to continued funding cutbacks. Despite this ongoing additional pressure, the confirmed programme of work planned by Echo Echo for the year ahead is one of our busiest ever.

Company artists have already worked in Germany, Sweden, Finland and Ukraine this year and further international projects by Steve Batts in Holland at the Lorentz Institute and Contact Bucharest Festival in Romania in June will be followed by Echo Echo Ensemble Artists touring in Sweden in September.

Kelly Quigley, Ayeha Mailey and Esther Alleyne in The Cove
Kelly Quigley, Ayeha Mailey and Esther Alleyne in The Cove

International guests from all around Europe will arrive in the city for the first Echo Echo Contact Improvisation Festival in Derry in May; and for the sixth international Festival of Dance and Movement in November – the Festival has already shown work of over 200 artists from home and abroad. A fifth Festival Open Call will open for entries soon after receiving over 400 applications from around the world to date!

Echo-Echo-Contact-Festival-2018

Nationally, Echo Echo ensemble artists continue to connect their work and the company to artists all around Ireland – Ayesha Mailey’s ACES project at Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast through 2018, a Contact Workshop tour of Ireland with Zoe Ramsey and Tonya Sheina next week, acclaimed clown Joe Dieffenbacher working with local artists later in April, the third Festival Artist Bursary programme in November, and an all-Ireland tour of the winter-themed production for younger audiences Lost in Frost in December. Echo Echo is collaborating with Warwick University, Queen’s University, Big Telly Theatre and Bbeyond Belfast on the TIME project which will be shown in early 2019.

Kelly Quigley in LOST IN FROST. Image by Living Witness.
Kelly Quigley in LOST IN FROST – image by Living Witness

Locally, the company will continue working in partnership with fantastic groups at Tuned In Project, Strabane Community Project, Praxis Care, Cedar Foundation, Causeway and Glens Council, and Claudy-Comber PS (to name but a very few) on a series of participation and performance projects over the coming year. An ongoing programme of artist residencies and music events are hosted at Echo Echo Studios on a regular basis by local and visiting artists and musicians.

LAVA-Dansproduktion workshop at Echo Echo Festival - image by Living Witness
LAVA-Dansproduktion workshop at Echo Echo Festival – image by Living Witness

Interested in finding out more or getting involved? Have a look at our website listings for new term information with a range of upcoming classes and events for all ages and abilities.

Five years in Waterloo House!

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It’s incredible that Echo Echo moved into its new premises in Magazine Street five years ago this weekend!

March 2013 was in the first quarter of City of Culture year and our new studios project was both the culmination of years of development work, planning and fundraising; and the beginning of a new period in the company’s long history. Finally a space to call home after two decades!

Waterloo House was in poor condition after lying empty for a few years, and Echo Echo’s refurbishment project breathed new life into this wonderful old construction built into the fabric of the City Walls – one of only four buildings in the city with direct access to the historic monument.

This project is a perfect example of the potential of arts led regeneration – the whole Waterloo Street / Magazine Street conservation area has benefited from the much improved visual impact and increased footfall; more local, national and international visitors for projects like Echo Echo Festival of Dance and Movement; and new neighbours and businesses like The Scullery Cafe, Brickwork restuarant and lounge, and In Your Space Circus.

Five years on and it has not been easy to sustain the charity, our building project remains to be signed off despite our best efforts, and the lowest arts funding budget in these islands has been cut in five successive years.

Echo Echo has done brilliantly to survive this period despite many challenges. We’ve been supported by so many local people and partners through their regular attendance and advocacy, and by our core funders Arts Council NI and Derry City and Strabane District Council as well as the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and a long list of other partners and supporters. And a big thanks again to all of our capital funders and the individuals involved.

Here are a few photos to remind you of the transformation over the last 5 and half years!

Before:

 

During:

After:

 

 

“This has been an amazing project to be part of”

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Echo Echo recently completed a wonderful dance project in partnership with the two Donemana primary schools: St Patrick’s PS and Donemana PS.

Echo Echo Associate Artistic Director, Ayesha Mailey, developed and produced the programme along with Echo Echo ensemble artist Zoe Ramsey and Ronan McKee from Play Percussion.

The artist-teachers worked with the pupils from both primary schools over a 16 week programme from September to February. The children learned new dance and movement skills and African ‘djembe’ drumming leading to a closing performance for family members at Echo Echo Studios!

We asked the teachers involved to give us some feedback on their project highlights:

“A few of my class were very quiet and nervous about the project at first. They now relish the weekly lessons and are performing with gusto! Thank you!”

 

“This has been an amazing project to be part of. The development in good relations and community spirit has been very evident – I would love to see it continue!”

 

“This is an invaluable part of our school curriculum which is increasingly difficult to deliver in austere times. Echo Echo has provided a safe learning environment where pupils could freely express through dance.”

 

“The children have grown in confidence and enthusiasm for the arts. All children mixed freely and have reclaimed friendships forged at playgroup before they entered their separate schools. Continue to provide opportunities of this nature please!”

 

Performance (4)Performance (13)

All of the pupils from the two schools involved had a chance to reflect on the project last week and gave us some feedback comments.

We asked the children what they enjoyed about the project. Making new friends was the top answer! In addition they told us:

“I enjoyed standing out from the crowd.”

 

“I enjoyed learning new dances and having fun. I really really enjoyed performing in front of everyone. It was a great experience.”

 

“I enjoyed the breathing exercises and getting ready for the performance.”

 

“I enjoyed most performing at Echo Echo, the theatre was amazing, all the lights and curtains.”

 

“I enjoyed everyone teaching me to have enough courage to show everyone my dancing skills, meeting other children and making new friends.”

 

It was great to have so many parents and family members at Echo Echo Studios for the closing performance! We collected a few comments from them too:

“It was wonderful to watch.”

 

“It was excellent. Very well organised and the children performed brilliantly.”

 

“Boys and girls were super. Just fantastic. I really enjoyed seeing my child shine.”

Performance (9)Performance (11)

Big thanks to Derry and Strabane District Council for funding this project through the 2017/18 Good Relations programme. Thanks to Pauline O’Neill at Council and to Arts Officer John Kerr for joining us at the performance event. Thanks also to a generous gift from Give Inc Giving Circle which helped make the project possible, and to Arts Council NI – Echo Echo’s principal funder.

Finally, a very big thank you to all the pupils, teachers, parents, artists and staff involved!

 

Echo Echo regularly works with schools on a wide range of dance/movement participation and performance programmes. If your school is interested in finding out more please contact us.

 

 

 

 

New work in progress by Gemma Walker and Tonya Sheina

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We’re delighted to welcome Gemma Walker back to Echo Echo Studios to begin development of a new project after an artistic research residency during 2017 and two fantastic Makeyuppers performances in the Studios last December.

Gemma will be working with Tonya Sheina of Echo Echo Ensemble to develop a new production from their research collaboration last year:

In May of last year Tonya and I were able to work together for 3 weeks exploring movement with text thanks to Individual Artists funding through Arts Council NI. We unearthed some very interesting material through this process and so have continued developing a new piece of work. What I love about it is that it is about many things and nothing in particular. It is about our relationship with fear and how it is an ‘ancient and otherworldly’ feeling. It is about memory and imagination. It is partly autobiographical and deeply personal but also universal. It is about the ghosts we carry with us and how we can sometimes be ghosts in our own lives.

The other day we mapped out all of the material and now have a first draft of a script! It’s starting to feel like a real show and we cannot wait to share it later this year.

Keep an eye on the Echo Echo website for performance details coming soon…

If you are interested in the Residency Programme at Echo Echo Studios please get in touch by email.

 

 

 

Invitation to NOW AT ONCE at Echo Echo Studios

Now At Once e-invite

Dearest you,

You are warmly invited to the premiere of my new piece

Now At Once

23rd and 24th of February 2018 at 20.00

at Echo Echo Studios, Hangmans Bastion, Magazine street, Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

     http://echoechodance.com/whatson/now-at-once-my-johansson

Now At Once is about letting the body speak, the perishability of movement, about the urgency to move and the fluidity that is there once the noise is filtered through. It’s about everyday decisions and the larger ones which help form our path. It’s about speaking through the noise and deeply listening to the silence. The perishability of the daily encounters that influence our decisions and the speaking in, of and with silence, filtering through the noise and letting the body be heard, silently, without words, perishable- now at once.

Now At Once is a collaboration with sound and light designer Barry Davis. Produced and supported by Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company.

It would be lovely to see you, should you have the time and feel like seeing something!

Warmest wishes,

My Johansson

 

*****

For further information on Echo Echo’s Residency Programme – click here.

Echo Echo is supported by Arts Council NI and Derry City and Strabane District Council.

Echo Echo End of Year Review

As the year comes to an end we would like to thank everyone who has supported Echo Echo during 2017!

It has been another challenging year for the arts in this part of the world: the absence of a regional government and apparent lack of political interest in the arts is deeply concerning; wider economic and political developments have a direct effect on Echo Echo and the people and organisations we work with; further arts funding cuts to the minuscule arts budget here have been extremely difficult to manage, and made both short-term and longer-term planning even more difficult.

Despite this the company has had another successful year in terms of the quality and diversity of our artistic programme, continuing to develop the new Studios and Festival, and supporting local, national and international artists in different ways. Some selected photo highlights from the past year are listed below, but we could have chosen from dozens of other collaborations, performances and events that took place!

This work would not be possible without the support of our audiences and participants, collaborating artists and organisations, funders and partners – thank you for all that you do for the company.

Looking forward to 2018 we have some very interesting projects already confirmed including the first Echo Echo Contact Improvisation Festival in May; Echo Echo Ensemble tour to Sweden in September; Body Wisdom in the Community – a project in partnership with local community groups in Derry and Strabane; research projects in collaboration with Leiden University, Queen’s University and Warwick University; continued local participation projects including Donemana primary schools and Pennyburn Youth Club; and a sixth edition of Echo Echo Festival of Dance and Movement in November 2018 – to name but a few!

Finally, a big thank you to all of our current and outgoing Board members, to our core staff team, and to the Echo Echo Ensemble who put incredible creative energy, time and devotion into everything we do throughout the year.

Best wishes from all the team for a Happy Christmas and see you in 2018!

Ailbe Beirne, Company Manager

**********

Kelly Quigley, Ayeha Mailey and Esther Alleyne in The Cove
Kelly Quigley, Ayesha Mailey and Esther Alleyne in The Cove – Tour of Ireland including 12 performances in Derry, Belfast, Galway, Thurles, Limerick, Dublin.
Kelly Quigley in Lost in Frost
Kelly Quigley in Lost in Frost – Mayor’s Christmas Event performances in Derry and Strabane
Old Bob's Tale by Steve Batts at Tocht Festival, Tralee
Old Bob’s Tale by Steve Batts at Tocht Festival, Tralee, April 2017
Tonya Sheina at TIDES Launch, Ebrington
Tonya Sheina at TIDES Launch Event, Ebrington – pic by Mickey Rooney
waldorf and cannon album launch - pic by Mickey Rooney
Waldorf and Cannon album launch at Echo Echo Studios, January 2017 – pic by Mickey Rooney
LAVA-Dansproduktion workshop - image by Living Witness
LAVA-Dansproduktion workshop at Echo Echo Festival – image by Living Witness
Magical performances of Fallen from the Moon by Mini-a-tour at Echo Echo Festival
Magical performances of Fallen from the Moon by Mini-a-tour at Echo Echo Festival
Youth Dance Workshop with Voices Dance at Echo Echo Festival
Youth Dance Workshop with Voices Dance at Echo Echo Festival
Velvet Alibi close Echo Echo Festival in style
Velvet Alibi close Echo Echo Festival in style, November 2017
Embodying Landscape Workshop 4
Beaver Farm Workshops for Kids and Adults (Russia), summer 2017 – image by Alexey Dybovskiy
Bubble Workshop with Karen Cassidy at Echo Echo Summer Scheme
Bubble Workshop with Karen Cassidy at Echo Echo Summer Scheme
This is How we Fly in concert at Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin
This is How we Fly in concert at Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin, November 2017
Inna Aslamova from Belarus at Echo Echo Festival Open Call
Inna Aslamova from Belarus at Echo Echo Festival Open Call
Company Development Week at Echo Echo Studios
Company Development Week at Echo Echo Studios, September 2017
Zoe Ramsey in LUXe Sound of Light Festival - December 2017
Zoe Ramsey in LUXe Sound of Light Festival, December 2017 (pic courtesy What’s On Derry Strabane)
Sunset from Echo Echo Studios
Sunset from Echo Echo Studios

 

Thank you! #EchoEchoFest

Festival 2017 Group Photo by Living Witness Productions
Festival 2017 Group Photo by Living Witness Productions

As the dust settles on a fabulous fifth edition of Echo Echo Festival of Dance and Movement, we would like to say thank you to everyone who made the festival a wonderful success this year!

Thanks to all of the companies and artists involved! Sasha Soshnikova and Sergei Golvnea of Voices Dance; Rohan Armstrong and Meilana Gillard; Ayesha Mailey, Kelly Quigley, Zoe Ramsey, Tonya Sheina of Echo Echo Ensemble; Virginia Negru; Nasrine Kheltent; Inna Aslamova; Hilde Ingeborg Sandvold; Anastasia Brouzioti, Yiannis Tsigkris of Alma Libre; Lior Lazarof, Timea Laza, Sharon Barbakov; Bjorn Richter of RichterMeyerMarx; Hannah Rogerson and Pieter Visser of Tea Time Company; Siobhán Ní Dhuinnín and Isabella Oberlander; Sibéal Davitt and Kristyn Fontanella; Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, Seán Mac Erlaine, Nic Gareiss and Petter Berndalen of This is How we Fly; Julia Tokareva and Alexander Bondarev of Mini-A-Tour; Benno Voorham and Abdalla Omari of LAVA-Dansproduktion; Sophie Ammann, Rosanne Briens, Erin O’Reilly and Tom Dupont of Junebug Company; Anthony McCann, Fionnuala Kennedy and Steven Hadley; and Velvet Alibi – Anna Nolan, Rohan Armstrong, Meilana Gillard, Mike Barkley, Neil Burns, Tom Evans, Joseph Leighton, Paul Fox, Kelly Quigley, James Anderson, Curtis Cunningham, Caroline Crumlish, Abby Oliveira – for an incredible closing concert!

Thank you to our principal Festival funders: Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the National Lottery, and Derry City and Strabane District Council – special mentions for Gilly Campbell and team at ACNI and to Colin Coyle, Jacqueline Whoriskey, Stephen Gillespie and team at Council; thanks to the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Gillian Goode for their ongoing support; thanks to Foyle Foundation for supporting this fifth edition; thanks to the Esmé Mitchell Trust for supporting the 2017 primary schools outreach programme; and thanks to our Festival Friends advertisers – City Cabs, Bennigans Bar, The Sandwich Company, Imbolc Festival and zoocreative.

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, Dance Resource Base, Firkin Crane, Galway Dance Project, An Lab Dingle, The Dock Arts Centre, and Theatre NI.

Big thanks to our bursary recipients this year for their wonderful presence and engagement: Sonya Swarte, Gerard Kelly, Amanda Doherty, Sarah Jane Murphy, Natasha Bourke, Marco Novara, Catherine Donnelly, Aliina Lindroos, Orlaith Ní Chearra and Maria Svensson. Keep in touch!

Special thanks to Cultúrlann Uí Chánain and staff for their creative engagement and support for the Tradition and Beyond event, especially Peter O’Doherty, Eibhlín Ní Dhochartaigh and Gerry Tracey. Thanks to Aine and all the staff at The Playhouse.

Thanks to our local venue and outreach partners and all of their staff and teachers: Derry Craft Village, Ardnashee School & College, Holy Cross College Strabane, Donemana PS, St Patrick’s PS Donemana, Audrey Begley and St Cecilia’s College, Sevenoaks Care Home, Groarty Integrated PS, Rosemount PS, Good Shepherd PS, Fiona Pender and Thornhill College, Nadine Hegarty and Fireworks Dance.

Thanks to James and Diane King, Carmel Mulrine, Gerry McGoldrick, Seamus Kennedy and staff at Abbey B&B.

Thanks to Eamon McGinley at Elisha McCallion MP’s ofice for invaluable support with the increasingly challenging visa process this year. Thanks also to Paul Brown at Earagail Arts Festival.

Huge thanks to BBC Radio Foyle & Ulster for sterling support again this year – to Michael Bradley, Conor McCay, Mark Patterson, Marie-Louise Muir, and special mention for Stephen McCauley who recorded an edition of Soundscapes at the Festival (Listen Again here). And thanks also to our many followers on social media channels for the likes, shares, posts, tweets, reviews and comments – #muchappreciated!

Special thanks to all of the artists and companies for use of their images and video in Festival promotional materials. And thanks to Ciaran Harley at zoocreative for the beautiful Festival artwork derived from an image of Junebug Company by Charles Mugel.

Thanks so much to all of the Festival volunteers including Olek Wójcik, Karen Cassidy, Leeann Toland, John Butler, Bernadette Sheils, and Virginia Negru from Contact Festival Bucharest.

Thanks to our directors Margo Harkin, Cath McBride, Paul Johnston, Deirdre Gillespie for volunteering during many Festival events and for their ongoing support and vital advocacy throughout the year!

Thanks to the Echo Echo team: our staff – Steve Batts, Anna Nolan, Barry Davis and Ailbe Beirne; our support team this year – Ciaran Harley and zoocreative, Brian Fisher, Simon Alleyne and Living Witness Productions, Darren Owens, JP Conaghan; and big thanks as always to the Echo Echo Ensemble – Ayesha Mailey, Kelly Quigley, Zoe Ramsey and Tonya Sheina!

Finally, thanks to you – our audiences, colleagues, friends and family for your continued support!