Foreign Bodies- An Underwater Love Story

Foreign Bodies is an underwater love story and quiz show that crosses borders and oceans to explore what divides and what unites us.

A multi-sensory experience, Foreign Bodies is an underwater love story and quiz show that crosses borders and oceans to challenge the human collision of cultural difference. Timely in the wake of Brexit, the Underwater world is a hopeful alternative reality, a world where the audience can explore  what is gained and what is lost through exchange, connection and communication.

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“Artistically, scientifically and culturally significant… a powerful and dramatic work of richly layered relevancies.” Katy Noakes, OneDance UK

“Ella has situated (Foreign Bodies) at a fertile intersection of styles and approaches to dance.” Dan Canham, Artistic Director, Stillhouse

“I was absolutely mesmerised”Heidi Samson, Youth Worker, Creative Youth Network

“A human dive in to a multi-sensory experience of dual parallels & contradictions. An important story that places the audience in the shoes of the protagonist.”Elsabet Yonas

Our Partners and Supporters:


Concept and Direction: Ella Mesma

Dancers: Isaac Ouro Gnao, David Evans, Lucia Afonso, Franck Arnaud Lusbec, Elsabet Yonas (and we honour Patrick Ziza who was involved in the first R&D of the work)

Actor: Milton Lopes

Choreography: Ella Mesma and Dancers

Script: Ella Mesma with extracts written by Edson Burton and input from Milton Lopes, Luke Pell and Edson Burton

Costume: Sabrina Henry

Lighting: Ciaran Cunningham

Music: Written by Sabio Janiak: piano, vocal, didgeridoo, ocarina, drums, programming, percussion, clarinet, electronica by Sabio Janiak. Duele vocal by Ella Mesma, Povo vocal by Nuno Silva

Technology: Benjamin Winstone & Gentleman Octopus

Dramaturgical Support: Luke Pell through South East Dance (Dramaturg in Residence 2018) and Edson Burton

Photography: Jessica Mitchell

Funding and support: Arts Council of England, Metal Liverpool, Trinity Centre, South East Dance, Eclipse Theatre, Pervasive Media Studio, Serendipity, Dance City, Dance Umbrella, Sadler’s Wells, Crowd Funding, Fergus Evans, Theatre Bristol, Rachel Bradbear, Annie Rigby, Degna Stone.

Thank you: This work began in 2017 with 1 week of R&D, a further 2 weeks (funded) in 2018, and this two week opportunity in 2019, but has included extensive research spanning continents and crossing borders. A huge thank you to everyone who has been a part of this work, in particular to:

Arts Council of England, South East Dance (Dramaturg in Residence 2018), Metal Liverpool, Crowdfunder donaters, Serendipity, Dance City, Patricia Stead, Jeff Dean, Sadler’s Wells, Trinity Centre, Eclipse Theatre, Artists4Artists, Selfe, Hayleigh Sellors, Edson Burton, AIDF, Pervasive Media Studio, Gentleman Octopus, Fergus Evans, Patrick Ziza, Dani Sands, all the performers, Chloe Wills, Mum, Dad and Friends who have supported.