Echo Echo Dance in rehearsals for new tour, inspired by a hidden Donegal cove

Derry based dance company, Echo Echo, are deep into rehearsals for its newest show, ‘The Cove’, which sees them merge visual arts, music and dance with outdoor pursuits- all inspired by a hidden cove on the North Donegal coast.

Echo Echo Artistic Director, Steve Batts, discovered the Port-a-Doris cove a few years ago, near Shrove, County Donegal. It became the setting for one of the company’s 2011 projects and proved to be a magical, inspiring place- looking out towards Downhill beach on the other side of Lough Foyle.

During that site-specific project, many local residents came to visit and told stories of the cove having been a place where people proposed to their sweethearts and carved their names. They came to dance there too, many years ago, in secret. Interesting that Echo Echo had returned in 2011 to dance too.

In 2012, the dancers are taking it one step further and creating an original performance inspired by their memories and experience of Port-a-Doris. They have scrambled, climbed, picnicked, swam, played, danced and meditated there. They have seen the seals and the fish, the birds and the insects. They have visited in the rain and sun.

The production will include set design by acclaimed Belfast-based visual artist Dan Shipsides and an original music score by talented local composer Christopher Norby- who has composed for Ulster Orchestra and NI Opera.

Echo Echo Company Manager, Ailbe Beirne, said:

Echo Echo's team of artists and collaborators are of the highest professional level for this project so we must thank the Legacy Trust for the funding support to make it possible. The company has built up a very loyal and interested local audience but I think there are many more people out there who will enjoy this live performance work. It's very cutting edge and combines different art forms, music, theatre, video, lighting, to make something that is very difficult to describe in words. Maybe that's what quality work should be, and it's hopefully what we will see a lot more of in 2013 and in years to come.”

Echo Echo is considered to be one of Ireland’s leading dance companies and is known for it’s innovative projects and unique performance style. The dancers will be in intensive rehearsals for over four weeks before premiering the new work on Wednesday 3rd October 2012 in An Grianan Theatre, Letterkenny. The tour will finish in Echo Echo’s hometown Derry-Londonderry at The Millennium Forum on Wednesday 17th October.

The Cove is funded through Legacy Trust UK's Challenge Fund, which is managed by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Legacy Trust UK is creating a lasting impact from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by funding ideas and local talent to inspire creativity across the UK.

For full details about the performance or any of the work that the company does, visit

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