Londonderry dance company, Echo Echo, has been shortlisted for an ‘Outstanding Contribution to Arts and Culture’ award at the annual Chamber Business Awards.
In what is always a highly competitive category, even more so given the city’s significant cultural offerings in 2013, it is a major stamp of approval in the dance theatre company’s work and progress according to Echo Echo Manager Ailbe Beirne:
“The list of achievements of Echo Echo over the last 18 months or so is really incredible. We’ve completed the new building project in very challenging economic circumstances, managing a cocktail of different public and private sector funding, and moving into the new centre at the beginning of possibly the busiest year of the company’s history. Most organisations go quiet during a capital project, instead Echo Echo produced one of the largest dance and movement programmes ever created in Ireland, so it is nice to be shortlisted and recognised locally for this.”
Echo Echo has slowly but surely been building a reputation as one of the leading dance companies in Ireland and Europe. It has a unique approach to dance that is highly demanding but very accessible. Unusually it works as a professional ensemble so there is a core team of 6 local dancers, led by Artistic Director Steve Batts, at the heart of everything the company does. Echo Echo works with dozens of local schools and groups, and at national and international festivals. It produces many projects each year and 2013 saw some of its most artistically challenging to date like The Motion Ensemble last summer featuring a cast of 19 local and international artists, and Echo Echo Festival of Dance and Movement in November, the first edition of what is expected to become an annual event in the city’s cultural calendar.
Without was another Echo Echo highlight last year, a major film project with over 500 local people and 5 local schools involved, says Ailbe:
“It was like a making a two-hour feature film but split over seven screens with a huge cast so was hugely ambitious. We filmed from high up on St Columb’s Cathedral and from the Walls so it created a stunning 360 panoramic view. It’s now showing at the Dublin Dance Festival during May – amazing to think that 500 people from the city are performing in Dublin for a month.”
Ahead of the Chamber Awards taking place in June next month,