Ella Mesma Company

Diaspora Dance Theatre

Ladylike

Are you a heroine? Or feeling a bit chicken?

Our stories do not have to define us, and Ladylike is the super-heroines journey of four wonderwomxn undoing the repressions of their past to create their own future.

In a ceremonious un-dressing, they become a sisterhood, uniting using hip hop theatre and sexually charged Rumba to take a fierce, frank and funny look at gender roles and transform their deepest fears and desires.

“Ladylike should be compulsory watching for the world”
Chris Megginson
Yorkshire Dance

About the piece: In Cuba, there is a dance called Yuka: a sensual dance between a chicken and cock to make love. Often women are defined as a type of animal (and not in a good way). This piece used the words ‘chick’, ‘bird’, ‘hen’ to explore how womxn are boxed in and stereotyped in this patriarchal world, and how (and if) we womxn can step out of those stereotypes and beliefs to create our own destiny. We used breaking, rumba and Yuka to explore four very different womxn’s stories and create a sisterhood to help them each break free.

About the journey: Ladylike began its journey at Casa Festival in 2015 and premiered at Sadler’s Wells in 2017. The show has also been performed at Richmix, London (2017),Trinity Centre, Bristol (2018), The Women’s Leadership Conference, New York City, (2018), VAULT Festival London (2018), IETM, Hull (2019), Offbeat Festival, Oxford (2019), Dance City, Newcastle (2019), and was runner up in the Lukas awards  for Best Production (2018). The show was most recently performed at Casa Latin American Festival in July 2019.

THEMES: Gender, Gender roles, Stereotypes, Gender Abuse, Me Too, Identity, Sex, Power, Fear, Love, Self Love, Sisterhood, Transformation, Herstory, Orixás, Mythology, Healing, Shamanism, Chickens, Breaking, Afro Cuban, Circles, Rituals

Programme Notes

  1. Todo nace de la Rumba (Everything is born from Rumba), 2. Women who run with wolves, 3. Little Anna, 4. 50 shades of chicken, 5. The Maverick reigns her roost, 6. My dress is not yes, 7. Guerreras (Warriors)

For more information click here and to discuss booking Ladylike please click here

For technical rider click Here

WATCH NOW: Watch the show using a fully immersive 360° VR experience via our collaboration with technology experts LIVR at their virtual reality content platform here
Promoters: For the full length show and Q&A click here

For more images click on the foto below or here

Quotes

Our Partners and Supporters:

About the piece: In Cuba, there is a dance called Yuka: a sensual dance between a chicken and cock to make love.

Often women are defined as a type of animal (and not in a good way). This piece used the concept of the ‘chick’, ‘Bird’, ‘hen’ to explore how womxn are boxed in and stereotyped in this patriarchal world, and how (and if) we ourselves can step out of those stereotypes and beliefs and create our own destiny.

We used breaking and rumba (and Yuka) to explore four very different womxn’s stories and created a sisterhood to help them break free.

Concept and Direction: Ella Mesma

Dancers: Anna Alvarez, Azara Meghie, Hsing Ya Wu, Lucia Afonso (and we honour Lianett Rodrigues who was involved in the first draft of the work),

Choreography: Ella Mesma and Dancers with the opening scene by Yersin Guillen Rivas

Costume: Jodie-Simone Howe, Dream Sewing, Ila Leila Samba Costumes, Melissa Rolas and Ella Mesma

Lighting: Ciaran Cunningham

Music: Composed by Sabio Janiak

Photography: Nicola Hunter, Camilla Greenwell

Additional Direction: Charlotte Vincent through The Bench (2015), Lea Anderson (2017)

Dramaturgical Support: Peggy Olislaegers through Yorkshire Dance’s Sketch programme (2015)

Thank you:

This work began in 2015 and has been a profound research into the dance styles, with the content and creation spanning 4 continents. A huge thank you to everyone who has been a part of this work, in particular:

Arts Council of England, Crowdfunder donaters, Casa Latin American Festival, Peggy Olislaegers and Yorkshire Dance’s Sketch programme (2015), WCMT, Lisa Ullman Trust, Wieke Eringa, Dance City, Patricia Stead, Jeff Dean, James Froment, Sadler’s Wells, Richmix, ADAP Sar, Dance City, Trinity Centre, Yorkshire Dance, Dance Studio Leeds, ADAD, The Bench (2Faced Dance), Kala Sangam, Eclipse Theatre, Absolutely Cultured, IETM, Harambee Pasadia, Lukas Awards, Artists4Artists and all the team, Big Feast, Sh! Erotic Shop, Fergus Evans, Nicola Hunter, Camilla Greenwell, Tom Bowles, Suzie Howell, Lea Anderson, Charlotte Vincent, Miguel Gonzalez, Yersin Rivas, Luanda Pau, Lianett Rodrigues, Emma Houston, Rita Vilhena, Gabriela Montgomery Solano, Jo Leahy, Hugo Canuto, Mum, Family and Friends.