Derry to Host Third International Dance Festival
Echo Echo welcomes a flood of international artists and performers back to the historic City Walls for ten days of exhilarating works
Echo Echo Festival of Dance and Movement returns to Derry~Londonderry next month with an outstanding ten-day programme from local and international artists and companies.
Running from November 5 - 15 at Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company's beautiful home studios on the City Walls at Magazine Street, the festival offers a packed schedule of the highest quality dance performance work from around Europe, as well as a range of classes and special events for people of all ages to watch and participate. Over 60 guest artists from 15 different nationalities will feature across the programme.
This year's festival highlights include Whispers – at the Pearly Gates, the richly theatrical piece by Stellaris DansTeater from Norway. For over 25 years the dance company has produced performances, projects and an annual festival from Hammerfest in the isolated far Atlantic north of the country, under the artistic direction of Solveig Leinan-Hermo.
Their moving production of Whispers... has been inspired in part by Sloveig’s encounters with Alzheimer’s disease and in addition to performances on Tuesday, November 10 and Wednesday 11 at 8pm, company members from Stellaris will also be giving movement classes open to the public during the festival.
Spazio Seme from Arezzo in Italy present their funny and touching show CIMOSA for children and families whilst Mirva Mäkinen company from Finland offer their simple and intimate show Spherical Space, based on contact improvisation. In addition there will be a multi-national programme of Short Works presented following a huge response to the festival's open call.
Echo Echo Festival has also a strong homegrown element with new works being presented by Derry choreographer Bridget Madden and Maria Svensson from Kerry. The specially commissioned first full evening of works by Belfast's Oona Doherty promises to be another highlight on the festival's opening night. Echo Hunt is performed by Derry-based Echo Echo Ensemble artists Kelly Quigley, Zoe Ramsey and Janie Doherty.
Oona Doherty said: 'The Echo Echo Festival has been a constant supportive environment for me as an artist over the past three years. It has offered me opportunities to collaborate, meet, socialise and learn about people, life and dance.
'Dance artists from other mediums and styles from all over the world get together in Derry for this festival and share. I always take something important away with me.'
Echo Echo Artistic Director, Steve Batts, said: 'We try to make our festival a place where the work that is presented is not obscure and inaccessible, but does have the potential to touch people deeply, to open the heart, to awaken a watcher's own potential for poetic physicality, to touch on important themes, intrigue, to inspire questions, to stimulate a sense of mystery, address important issues, to surprise, excite, and move.'
The company invites people of all ages to visit Echo Echo Studios to watch the performances, join in the classes and workshops, see funk soul maestros Velvet Alibi in concert, or bring the whole family to the Dance Picnic to dance and tuck in to some tasty treats.
With all events ranging from £3 -10, tickets are affordably priced and available to book now. A small number of festival passes are also available for those who want to experience the programme in its entirety.
Echo Echo Festival is supported by the City of Culture Legacy Fund with funding from Derry City and Strabane District Council and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.