Echo Beach – Thoughts on dancing – Hannah Sullivan

Hannah Sullivan in Echo Beach - Picture by Paul Samuel White

I’ve always being fascinated by people’s movement. I remember I had a friend at school that I could recognise by the way she walked, or you know, the way someone moves their hands when they talk… I like to know someone through a specific part of their movement. And so, I went to university at an arts school and in the bar there was a lot of dancing and a lot of characters, this was a big dancing time for me, this 3 years at university – I used to dance with everyone else but I also developed this habit of watching the dance floor, because in the university bar there was a kind of balcony over the dance floor and so it was really cool to hang out on this balcony and just watch and be like ‘wow look at what he’s doing with his arms’ or ‘look at her foot work’ or ‘he’s just standing there shaking his head that’s cool’. You see, people got really into it – and so I was really becoming aware of this collection then but I realised that I could already tell you how my auntie Peggy dances or my dad or my mum and so I had already been doing it in a way. And there are a couple of people from those uni days in the show and there are a couple that have fallen out of memory which is sad because that’s because I’m not in contact with them anymore, but there are a couple that have stayed because I think often – the dances that really make it into my collection and stay there are moments when people are just really involved, often when that happens then is they get stuck into a repetitive movement, and practically that’s just easy to copy and remember, but also there is this amazing quality about that person in that moment. There is something about that person in that moment that I find really affecting. Some people say that everyone in my collective is in rhythm and quite confident, its like ‘oh where’s the nervous guy’, but my collection isn’t really about that – I don’t think about that much, like I need this and I need that. I thought about it once, that I needed to go out and get this kind of person and this kind of person but it felt fake and not good, because, the dances in my collection, they are in a kind of state, and that’s why they are there.

– An extract from a radio interview with Hannah Sullivan about Echo Beach, Interviewed by Luke Emery for Mayfest Radio 2014.

Echo Beach
24-25 Oct
Coopers’ Loft
6.30pm (Running time: 60mins)
£12/£8 (plus booking fee)

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