Ella Mesma Company is a British based dance theatre company who use a diverse range of folkloric dancestyles, inspired by director Ella Mesma’s background in Afro-Latin, Breaking and Contemporary dance. The company strive to use diaspora dance theatre (a term they created to communicate this meeting of dance styles) to allow transformation: telling personal and global stories to connect to our truest selves. Our work, our workshops and our presentations are powerful, personal and political.
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We are inspired to make work that undoes limiting beliefs and celebrates cultural and social identity to empower and inspire our audiences.
Where possible, we love to include audience interaction in some form in our work.
We refer to the work we make as diaspora dance theatre, because we recognise that the roots of these folkloric dance styles lie in Africa, and that we are also making a new journey, (just as these dances did) taking influence from the past and making sense of them in the context of today.”
Since its formation in 2011, with a premiere at Breakin’ Convention (Sadler’s Wells) (with a solo called Evol), Ella Mesma Company have been commissioned and performed for a number of leading arts organisations and highly regarded venues & festivals including Sadler’s Wells (Wildcard 2017), Women’s International Leadership Conference, New York City (2017), National Circus Centre (2018), ICA Festival, Capetown South Africa (2018), IETM Hull (2019). Ella Mesma Company were residents with Casa Latin American Festival 2015, Associate Artists at dance City (2017), Associate Artist at Trinity Centre Bristol (2018). In 2013, Ella Mesma was selected as a future Dance Leader for the ABLE leadership program and in 2015 awarded a Bench fellowship for emerging female choreographers. The company were runners up for the ‘Best Dance Production of The Year’ by the Latino Life LUKAS Awards 2018.
We also teach workshops and work with young people to create dance projects in the community.