Ella Mesma is a British born dancer of mixed heritage who is also a curator and director of Ella Mesma Company who make diaspora dance theatre that undoes limiting beliefs exploring and celebrating identity. Trained at Laban and the Place, her diverse performance experience includes Russell Maliphant Company, Southpaw, Lea Anderson and the Olympics Opening Ceremony. Commissions include Sadler’s Wells, Dance City, National Circus Centre. She was a future Dance Leader (ABLE 2013), a Bench fellow (2015) a Casa Latin American Festival resident artist (2016) Associate Dance Artist (Dance City 2017), an IGNITE Artist (Trinity Centre 2017) and runner up best production (Lukas awards 2018). She is the creative vision behind Roots of Rumba Festival and co-Produces She Created Her Life. She also enjoys mentoring, teaching and directing roles, and loves art (especially street art), books and beautiful lights!
Anna Alvarez studied ballet, athletics and performing arts as a child. In Buenos Aires she studied D.N.I Tango and graduated from the The Faculdade de Dança Angel Vianna in Rio De Janeiro. She apprenticed with Cia de Dança Deborah Colker in 2013 and Vertigo Dance Company in Israel in 2014. She has worked for Gustavo Cirico, Frederico Paredes, Maira Maneschy, Ella Mesma Company, the Leandro Palou Tango Academy and with Gonzalo Ferro.
Azara Rowena Meghie
Azara Meghie is a black LGBTQI performer. Her first live solo performance I Am A Woman was created in Jamaica. She collaborated with Kai Fi’ain to develop a video piece which screened at the BFI Flare Film Festival 2017 and seven film festivals across London, Berlin and New York. She has just finished her second film Breaking Down my Trans-Lation.
Born in Lower Hutt, New Zealand, David studied breaking and salsa as a teenager in the U.S. He graduated with a Diploma in Dance from Trinity Laban in 2017 with distinction and was awarded the dance award and choreographer award. David has worked for Ella Mesma Company, Tate Britain (Late at Tate: Speculate Series), The Rambert Building for Vintage Rambert, and Rahel Vonmoos.
Born in Taiwan, Hsing Ya practices Ballet, Modern, Gaga, Tai-Chi, Yoga & Belly dance. Performance experience includes Feng Dance Theatre, Dance Forum Taipei Company, WC dance company, Appetite Dance Productions and Ella Mesma Company. Hsing Ya has also taken part in a Choreography Residency at Watermill Center, Long Island in New York, The American Dance Festival and The Taipei Artist Village.
Of Rwandan heritage, Patrick Ziza practises traditional African dances, contemporary and urban styles. Trained at Sunderland university he is now an associate lecturer in Dance, for the same dance degree. He has performed for Gavin Coward, Gary Clarke and Ella Mesma Company.
Our lighting designer
Ciaran Cunningham has worked closely alongside Ella Mesma since 2011, lighting Ecdysis (Sadler’s Wells Lilian Baylis Studio/UK Tour); Orixás (The Place Robin Howard Dance Theatre/UK Tour): Evol (Birmingham Hippodrome/UK Tour): Ladylike (Sadler’s Wells theatre/ UK Tour). Ciarán Cunningham trained at East 15 Acting School where he gained a BA Honors in Stage Management and Technical Theatre (Lighting Design). As freelance Lighting Designer he has designed for Into the woods and Brink (Manchester Royal Exchange). Sizwe Banze is dead (Young Vic/UK Tour); Sound of yellow (Young Vic); Sense of sound’s: Migration Music (Liverpool Everyman Theatre); Scrappers (Liverpool Playhouse). AFD: Jazz (Florence Fould Hall NYC); AFD: Just Dance (Piazza Teatru Rjal Malta/Winchester Theatre Royal); AFD: Pop 8 (Lion and Unicorn Theatre); Up & Over it (Hackney Empire Theatre); 4 BY 6 and RealPoltik (Michaelis Theatre) and Birds (UK Tour).
Big Feast (Producer)
Sabio Janiak (Musician)
Keith Mills (Musician)
Lianett Rodriguez Gonzalez (Dancer)
Gabriela Montgomery-Solano (Dancer)
Mariana Camiloti (Dancer)
Rita Vilhena (Dancer)
Sophia Theodosiou (Dancer)
Simone Foster (Dancer)
Alice Henry (Dancer)
Emma Houston (Dancer)
Our Previous Partners
Our mentors (Thank you)
Nia Phillips, Militsa Stojanovic, Lubi Jovanovic, Bobak Walker, De Napoli Clarke, Merville Jones, Helen Wilson, ABC Trust, Wieke Eringa, Circo Picolino, Pearl Chesterman, Jonzi D, Kate Scanlan, Dr Abby Hoffman, Bgirl Rokafella, Kwikstep, Angel Ortiz (Lisa Ullman scholarship), Dr Nathalie Teitler, Kev (Renegade), Gavin Vincent, Abby Hoffman, La Ena- Havana, Funceb- Salvador da Bahia (Winston Churchill Fellowship), Denilson Owulafemi, The Graham school (Lisa Ullman scholarship), Miguel Gonzalez, Lianett Rodrigues, Gil & Shelley (Pexava), Patricia Stead, Pawlett Brookes, Fergus Evans, Charlotte Vincent, Peggy Olislaegers, Lea Anderson, Sharon Watson, Neville Campbell, Ben Dunks…