Ultan O’Brien & Nic Gareiss (Derry)

11th February Echo Echo Studios 8pmBook Now
Echo Echo Festival welcomes multi-award winning and highly acclaimed artists Nic Gareiss and Ultan O'Brien to the 2023 edition...

Ultan and Nic image

Ultan O’Brien & Nic Gareiss

Fiddler, violist, and composer Ultan O'Brien (Slow Moving Clouds) and percussive dancer Nic Gareiss (This is How we Fly) perform a set of new collaborations exploring space, time, and texture in Irish traditional music and percussive dance. Ultan and Nic create sound and movement at the nexus of sight, sound, and touch, puckishly exploring what fiddle music and step dance reveal about both predetermined and extemporaneous composition. By engaging mimetically: fiddle, fiddler, and fiddling, dance, dancer, and dancing, the duo reimagines the erotic symbiosis of traditional music and dance through historic repertoire and new encounter via the mediums of sound and gesture.

Ultan O’Brien & Nic Gareiss' 2023 appearances resume the duo's decade-long commitment to discovering and deepening a lexicon of collaboration which, among other revelations, reconsiders movers as soundmakers and recasts fiddlers as dancers, not only as a means to highlight these respective practices and repertoires, but ultimately to center rapport. 

Duration +/- 50 mins


Saturday 11th February at 8pm | Echo Echo Studios

Suitable for ages 12 years up


Tickets £10


About the Artists

Nic Gareiss

Nic Gareiss portrait

One of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch", dancer, musician, and dance researcher Nic Gareiss (he/they) has been hailed by the New York Times for his "dexterous melding of Irish and Appalachian dance" and called "the most inventive and expressive step dancer on the scene” by the Boston Herald. They reimagine movement as a musical practice, recasting dance as a medium that appeals to both eyes and ears. Originally from what some people call Michigan, Gareiss engages many percussive dance traditions, weaving together a singular dance practice marked by his love of clog, flatfoot, and step dance footwork vocabulary, improvisation, and musical collaboration. In 2020 Nic received the Michigan Heritage Award, the state's highest distinction bestowed on traditional artists. They have performed in seventeen countries with many of the luminaries of traditional music and dance at London's Barbican Centre, the Irish National Concert Hall, the Munich Philharmonic, and the Kennedy Center. 

Ultan O'Brien

Ultan O'Brien image

Ultan O’Brien (he/him) is a  fiddle player, violist and composer hailing from County Clare drawing from a rich background in traditional Irish music and improvised music. Ultan records, performs and tours traditional and contemporary Irish music as a soloist and with a number of groups including: Irish/Finnish folk group, Slow Moving Clouds, Irish folk band Skipper’s Alley, Scottish/Irish/Manx collaboration Aon Teanga:Un Çhengey, John Francis Flynn, and duos with Eoghan Ó Ceannabháin and Nic Gareiss. Ultan and Eoghan Ó Ceannabháin released an album, Solas an Lae, on the Scottish label Watercolour Music which was awarded Best Folk Album at the RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards 2021. In 2020 Ultan was named one of the Contemporary Music Centre’s Emerging Composers and has been commissioned to compose a number of works as a result; most recently he has been commissioned to create an audiovisual work which will be part of Ulysses Journey 2022 with screenings in IFI, Dublin; CCI, Paris; SARC, Belfast and Budapest, Hungary. Ultan plays a Michiel de Hoog violin thanks to the support of the Music Capital Scheme and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Music Network and the Irish Arts Council.


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Echo Echo Festival of Dance and Movement 2023 

Friday 27th January - Saturday 11th February 2023

Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company, Waterloo House, Magazine Street, Derry-Londonderry BT48 6HH



Click to view full Festival 2023 brochure!


Book Passes and Tickets Now 

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Accessibility information

Echo Echo Studios are accessed via rear entrance to Waterloo House at Hangman's Bastion, Magazine Street. The centre is fully accessible. Please note both studio spaces and gallery are accessible via stairs or platform lift.

If you have a specific accessibility query please contact us in advance by email: info [at] echoechodance.com or phone: 02871308883.


Echo Echo Festival Past Editions 2013-2021

Click to view past Echo Echo Festival programmes.


Festival Supporters

Thanks to Arts Council of Northern Ireland, The National Lottery through ACNI, Derry City and Strabane District Council Headline Events Fund, The Foyle Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation.

Thanks to Echo Echo Festival Presents Tradition and Beyond partners and supporters including Department for Tourism Culture Arts Gaeltacht Sport and Media, Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin and Siamsa Tíre

Thanks to zoocreative for brochure art and design.

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What's On

What's On


4th Oct - 20th Dec (Weekly) +

Body Wisdom Weekly Course

8th Nov - 13th Dec (Weekly) +

Open Call International A5 Mail Art

10th Nov - 15th Dec +

Nourish Winter Sessions

26th Nov - 5th Feb +

Vivienne Griffin and OULAN in concert

3rd December +

Winter's Dream (Derry)

12th Dec - 18th Dec +

GHOSTS (Dublin)

8th Jan - 9th Jan +

GHOSTS (Letterkenny)

12th January +

GHOSTS (Kildare)

19th January +