Foreign Bodies

“Ella has situated this work at a fertile intersection of styles and approaches to dance that add up to more than the sum of their parts. The vocabulary shifts and unfolds throughout.” Dan Canham


28th September 2017: Dance Edits: DanceCity: Newcastle


Movements and ideas are often infectious and sometimes go viral. Inspite of a worldwide web that knows no boundaries, we still hold onto colonial ideas of border control, illegal immigrants and nationalism. Often we do not even notice or acknowledge how these influences infect our belief systems or activate hysteria.
‘Foreign Bodies’ explores how dis-ease around biological contamination breeds greater fear of cultural contamination as it migrates and is ‘spread from one generation to the next’.

So how do we respond to this? Attack? Eliminate? Appreciate? Appropriate? Do cultural traditions become endangered with globalisation? Does authenticity remain once cultures mix? Can we appreciate without appropriating? Is there a difference between these opposing bodies or are we all the same? Can any one be fit to preside over others? To eternally remain immune to the labels of the sinners, the criminals, the invaders, the carriers?

Building upon themes of science, religion and race, the dancers pulsate to Afro House and Kuduro rhythms, intertwining folkloric, contemporary, and hip-hop into a codified subculture. Their stories echo their ancestry and the haunting manifestation of power structures. Viewers will peer into moments across generations and cultures that illuminate entire life stories and the enormity of time.

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

Touring availability: From 2018

Touring team: tbc

Minimum performance space: 8 x 8 metres


Sound: Sound run from laptop (Q-lab) over PA system

Needs: suitable dance flooring

Lighting: adaptable to venue specifications

Tech Spec: (Coming Soon)

Duration: tbc

Wraparound activity:

About the creation: I will begin explorations into this new work at Trinity Centre in Bristol,  Dance City in Newcastle, Metal in Liverpool and Yorkshire Dance in Leeds.

Production credits: 

Artistic Director: Ella Mesma

Dancers: Patrick Ziza

Lighting: Ciaran Cunningham


Photography: Camilla Greenwell

Previous performances

First residency: IgniteArtists: Summer 2017 Resident Artist at Trinity Centre Bristol: July 2017

21st July 2017: ScratchDat: Artists4Artists: Richmix: London

“As part of a new wave of UK choreographers that defy easy categorisation, Ella is making super exciting work.” Dan Canham