Artist Talk - Zoe Ramsey
Echo Echo Ensemble Artist, Zoe Ramsey talks about her working processes for her festival commission ‘Dance, for Dance Sake’ (working title), celebrating the joy of dance.
I was commissioned to take the lead role in creating a short 10 minute performance for the Echo Echo Festival 2021 along with the three other ensemble members of the company, Kelly Quigley, Tonya Sheina and Ayesha Mailey. I wanted to create and choreograph something where the "theme" was dancing and the piece was therefore about dancing, dancing together, and the enjoyment of dancing, as you see in folk or community dances.
I'm not so concerned about strict technicality or developing moves to symbolise a deeper meaning, I'm concerned with the depth that already exists in dancing and dancing together and seeing someone dance. So I began the process of composing material for my piece from the place of a desire to dance. I also commissioned long-time Echo Echo collaborator, Mark O’Doherty to compose music for the piece, which has resulted in a wonderful track which definitely evokes the desire to dance!
Because of Covid restrictions the ensemble were unable to all be together in the studio, so it started off with one-on-ones, developing material, recording and collecting as we went along; kind of like the process of making a collage. We are still in the process of creating the piece and are looking forward to the next stage when restrictions lift and we can all work together!
Zoe Ramsey began her dancing journey in 2005 attending Echo Echo’s Youth Dance programme Daring Feet. She achieved a BA Hons Degree in Dance Performance at Falmouth University in Cornwall and became an ensemble member at Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company after graduating in 2013. She has performed in a wide range of Echo Echo productions including The Cove (2017), Lost in Frost (2016), Ludo Lusi Lusum (2014), Motion Ensemble (2013), The Chess Piece (2010). She co-created the most recent Echo Echo children’s work A Box (2017) which has toured locally and internationally. Zoe regularly teaches and works with adults and children of all ages and also practices other movement forms such as Corporeal mime, masked theatre and different martial art practices. She has a deep interest in Contact Improvisation and is one of the organisers of Echo Echo’s annual Contact Improvisation Festival.
Join us online for a series of conversations exploring the creative practice and ideas of each of the artists who would have presented work at our festival had pandemic circumstances allowed. Steve Batts will interview Caroline Bowditch (Aus) and Linda Fearon (Armagh), Kate Wilson (Sligo), Suzannah McCreight (Belfast), Natasha Bourke (Cork) and Zoe Ramsey (Derry) to find out more about the work they were making for the Echo Echo Festival their personal history, work practice and ideas, and the ways they have adapted to "Covid Times". We hope these talks will whet the appetite for when we are in a position to present the performances properly, hopefully in the not too distant future.
You can join the conversation with questions and comments towards the end of each interview. If you have a question you would like to submit beforehand please email: firstname.lastname@example.org and put "artist talks" and the name of the artist in the subject line.
Echo Echo Festival Presents
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Echo Echo Festival Presents is kindly supported by Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the National Lottery through ACNI, and Derry City and Strabane District Council.