Echo Echo celebrate the life of Ursula Laeubli

The late Ursula Laeubli
The late Ursula Laeubli

Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company is to host a series of public events to remember and to celebrate the life of their co-founder, colleague and friend Ursula Laeubli, who died on April 14 this year.

The events will take place over the weekend of the 1st-3rd July in The Foyle Arts Building, University of Ulster and organisers have described as a “relaxed and friendly” occasion which will be open to all and which people can dip in and out of over the weekend.

Steve Batts, of Echo Echo, explained: “We are organising several events so that we can celebrate and say goodbye in all the ways appropriate to our various relationships with Ursula.”

The weekend will include meditation, dance and will give those who knew Ursula or who appreciated her work to come forward and share their memories. Echo Echo have cast the net wide for anyone who wishes to join in and pull the programme of events together to come forward.

“If you feel you’d just like to gather for a while to hear people remember and speak about Ursula you can come to the Saturday morning session, which will be the ‘formal’ bit of the weekend. If you would like to say a few words please let me know so we can programme you in,” Steve said.

“If you’d like to share some dancing come to Saturday afternoon. The class is open to anyone, young or old, male or female, experienced or beginner and is led by our wonderful colleagues Ayesha Mailey, who danced with Ursula from her very first visit to Derry in 1996, and Emily Welther who has been a constant presence in the Echo Echo ensemble for many years.

“If you have a performance of a song, a dance, a poem, or a video to show, let us know and you can do that on Saturday evening.

“We know that there are several performances planned already so you could also just come along to watch.”

On Sunday the memorial weekend will shift focus to Kinnego Bay, which Ursula visited frequently.

Steve said: “She took all her visitors from far and wide, for a walk on that beautiful beach. We will walk together there on Sunday morning. Join us if you wish.”

Ursula Laeubli set up Echo Echo with Steve Batts in Amsterdam in 1991, the year she graduated with a degree from the School for New Dance Development at the Amsterdam School of Arts.

They relocated to Derry in 1997 where, as resident dance company at the Playhouse Theatre, Echo Echo became one of just a small handful of dance organisations on these islands.

Under the artistic direction of Laeubli and Batts, the company developed into a leading contemporary dance company in Northern Ireland and one of the most interesting in the UK or Ireland, touring regularly with original pieces devised for an ensemble of local and international dancers.

For any further information, please contact the Echo Echo office on +44(0)28 7134 2266 or email