Covid Updates: The Earth without Art is just Eh: Ida, Pingala and all that is in between

I have been reflecting on the loss of Ty (And many more wonderful human beings) to Covid19. I dug out a music video we danced for Ty many years back here. I think Ty was in many ways ahead of his time, and my heart goes out to his friends and family at this difficult time.

This week’s theme is balance. I shared a talk with my Embodied Alchemy coaching clients about Ida and Pingala; the left and right hemispheres of the brain (often called masculine and feminine energies within us). We explored the idea of polarities and duality: how (and if) we have experienced internal fight or self judgement of what we perceive as good or bad, right or wrong and any shadow sides of our selves we have met more strongly during this time of lockdown. I set a task: inspired by Ru Paul’s Drag race series 10, episode 11 (Evil Twins), to get in touch with how we self judge, how we push away sides of ourselves, what voices of authority do we internalise and how we can further release our masks, our ‘should’s and shouldnt’s’ and the pressure we put on ourselves… I am still working on my ‘Evil Twin’ poem but maybe I will share it next week!

One of my yoga teachers (Angad Singh) said to me this week (which I think relates to this), “The universe is perfect… we are perfect in our imperfection, and bringing our awareness to that is enough: our patterns exist, our resistance to life exists and when we meet that, we meet what is keeping us separate: and if we can let go of the judgement on ourselves then on an energetic level we can find the connection to spirit and to our truth”.

Here are some other things I have been inspired by this week: which I would love to invite you to join!

Showstoppers: Element Arts are an Urban Latin dance collective now directed and choreographed by Hannah Bertram, and this weekend they have a plethora of beautiful live events for the public supported by Wandsworth Arts Fringe through Wandsworth Grant Fund https://www.wandsworthfringe.com/whats-on-2020/showstoppers. Tune in to our “Star In Your Own Show” online sessions where you will learn a fun dance routine from company dancers, or watch our show ‘Ecological Being,’ which promotes the interconnection between all beings, celebrating our beautiful Earth (because the Earth without Art is just Eh!)… I will be ricking my best Jellyfish (in honour of our own show: Foreign Bodies: An Underwater Love Story in which we present the eutopian world of the jellyfish via 4 amazing dancers and one amazing actor!)

Hammers: I have been talking with the amazing Yussef of Consciencia Negra in Lisbon and Melanie Abrahams of Slate World ready for our online discussion on Wednesday about arts activism Yussef shared the words of Vladimir Mayakovsky “Art is not a mirror to hold up to society, but a hammer with which to shape it” and Melanie Abrahams, the Brazilian poet Adelaide Ivánova who has been shortlisted for the the Derek Walcott prize for her poem ‘The hammer’, which explores the hammer as a weapon, and also a tool.https://www.poetrytranslation.org/podcasts/the-hammer-by-adelaide-ivanova

Holistic Pelvic care: I first discovered Tami Kent, and her wonderful book Wild Feminine, (which is on my reading list for our retreat to Thailand which happens every December for female creatives) about three years ago… During lockdown, I have had the absolute honour to train in HPC with the incredible Tami online and have been struck by how this connects back to everything above. If you would like to enquire about a treatment then please get in touch (womxn only for now)!

Dance Your Roots: What a beautiful experience! We raised and are still accepting donations here… and we will be back next month. Read my reflections here.

Wellbeing: In this difficult time, I have had so many confirmations that my art from the heart (with a hammer), my classes, my offerings of service are about teaching wellbeing and connecting to wellbeing: using that hammer to gently reshape and create art from the heart. Someone this week on Linked in said ‘Let’s not pretend life before lockdown with lack of sleep, commutes to work, so much choice, work and life overwhelm was any better than what we are experiencing now’ An interesting thought to close with! Let me know what you think?

Big loves everyone: you are super(s)heros!

Stay strong, find the silver linings, and when life gives you lemons: add them to your tea!

I love you,

Ella xxx

Thank you for your follow

Covid Updates

I am writing to you a little early this week as I wanted to share a beautiful project created by company dancer Ofelia Balogun (as seen in our trailer here) for which I will also be teaching as part of one gorgeous and talented team!

Dance your Roots International Lab

is inviting you to an introductory afternoon to diverse disciplines tailored on the theme of “Leaving behind the unnecessary”

Are you a dancer who has trained abroad? Have you enjoyed learning dances from a different country or culture in your hometown?

As we are all navigating our way through this global pandemic, we are aware it is affecting people across the world in different ways.

We have gathered a collective of international artists with a diverse background including Italy, Nigeria, United Kingdom, Brazil, Chile, USA. …To run a very special fundraising event on:

Saturday 9th May

to promote movement, connection, arts and wellbeing

Workshops are being offered to the public with a request to donate what you can afford, so that we can collectively provide support to a group of exceptional and humble artists in Senegal.

A collective of practitioners come together to Move you, Re-connect and Reflect to your Inner Roots…

Discover who…

All the sessions will be 30-45 minutes long on an online platform. The sessions are open to everyone and all levels.

CLASSES ARE DONATION BASED

All funds will go to support our artist friends in Senegal.

(£5-£50 all donations are welcome)

Can’t donate? No worries: Join us and Share our Fundraising Post!!

—————————–———————————————

TIMETABLE:

2PM GMT or 8PM Bogota

Mindful mobility with Alex Quinn

”Change happens through movement and movement heals”

(J. Pilates)

Using Pilates principles, Alex’s class will encourage participants to move mindfully, building core strength and stability, improving flexibility and increasing range of movement. Expect a grounding practice in a playful (online) space to build confidence and bodily awareness.

 

3PM GMT or 4PM Italy or 7AM Los Angeles

Dance your roots movement with Ofelia Balogun

“Dance as a tool to discover yourself as infinite possibilities”

Ofelia has been navigating, exploring and practising the foundations of African and Afro Caribbean traditional dance (Jamaica, Haiti and Cuba ) creating an experimental dance language that combines the dances researched with her personal approach.

Are you a sailor or an explorer of culture and movement like her?

 

4PM GMT or 8 AM Los Angeles

Dynamic Hatha Yoga with Vero Leopoldino

“We are all connected. Our differences are what make us the same”.

Vero uses Hatha and Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga as tools to explore and celebrate the body’s strengths and become aware of areas that we still need to notice, give attention to, and develop.

Trusting and working with our body’s intelligence, we are able to become our own teachers, taking care of our wellbeing, and live a better quality of life.

Join Vero’s sessions if you’re up for a dynamic and playful practice to discover something new, let some stress go and have fun!

 

5PM GMT or 9AM Los Angeles

Embodied Alchemy MMMM Session with Ella Mesma: Movement, Meditation, Mantra, Mudra with Maya Gandaia

“As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul…”

 

Maya Gandaia is about Moving from Illusion to Joy, and this session is designed to move through the archetypes to release the emotions and stories no longer serving us through motion and into our highest self. This session starts with a chakra alignment to ground in ourselves, to connect to our genius and to open up to a deeper level of creativity, followed by a meditative flow to move to a place of heart, to limber up the hips and spine and to breathe into the infinite universe.

 

6PM GMT or 10AM Los Angeles

“Leaving behind the unnecessary with Olivia Eng

“There’s no need for us to be held back by the past or how things have been so far. The important thing is what seeds we are sowing now for the future.”

Olivia Eng is the creator of the S.C.A.R.S.(Strength Courage and Resilience of the Soul), an ongoing project that aims to highlight the power of healing through the intersection of dance, artistic expression, storytelling, and cross-cultural exchange.

Join her for a dialogue/discussion based on an inspiring quote by great inspiration and mentor Daisaku Ikeda; encouraging us to reflect on how we can use even our uncomfortable and painful experiences as a springboard for growth and creativity.

 

To Book or find out more:

Send an email to ofeliabalogun@hotmail.it

Please include the details below.

Subject : Dance Your Roots International Lab

– NAME

– SESSIONS THAT YOU ARE INTERESTED IN

– COUNTRY

ABOUT US

https://www.facebook.com/events/2589701697951384/

ABOUT THE FUNDRASING

Olivia Eng & Ofelia Balogun started a small fundraiser to help 8 of their Senegalese artists that they had the honor of sharing space and dancing with at L’Ecole de Sables in Toubab Dialaw (Senegal), who have been deeply affected by the COVID-19 situation.

Their work at the moment has been suspended as musicians, dancers/performers, dance and music educators, a dance company director, and a hairdresser.

We have both donated what we can, but we need your help to reach this goal amount to be able to give some aid to each of them. If you can spare or offer anything at all to help, we and they would appreciate it so much! No amount is too small 🙂

We are deeply grateful for your help and support!

 

EUROPE:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/3njmm-support-for-our-senegalese-artist-friends?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link-tip&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet

USA:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-for-our-senegalese-artist-friends?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link-tip&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet

 

Big loves everyone: you are super(s)heros!

Stay strong, find the silver linings, and when life gives you lemons: add them to your tea!

I love you,

Ella xxx

 

Ps. Here are my offerings this week:

 

THE GETTING BETTER BOX

I AM ALL WOMXN

SLATE WORLD

EMC CLASSES

Thank you for your follow

Covid Updates May 3rd: Art from the Heart

Dear Ella,

Happy Sunday beautiful humans. I hope this email finds you healthy and well, and if you are recovering from the virus or any of the issues brought up during this time, we wish you wellness.

This week in lockdown, I have been reflecting on the art of being… messy: that this is the perfect time to let go of our judgement of ourselves and let go of those voices of authority internalised… and instead unleashing our inner superhero (which became the theme of my Saturday live stream meditation with the www tribe)!

In the olden days (Before Lockdown), I have been someone who has been reluctant to shout about what I am doing because it is not perfect yet… what this time helped me realise… in the words of Beyonce’s BIGGER, is “I am part of something way bigger”, and to let go of that judgement of myself, because just maybe… the art I make will reach and touch someone else’s heart… or inspire them too to create: and what better gift is there than seeing another human express their truth.

In Kundalini yoga (which I used to teach at Ookushana, but now teach online on Tuesdays), we always chant the teachers mantra before we start “I am not a womxn, I am not a man, I am not myself, I am not a humxn, I am a teacher.” I love that mantra because it helps me let go of that perfection that used to have me obsessing whilst teaching on what I did wrong and just serve: to just be: and also to recognise when I am doing that and come back to the present moment and have compassion for myself and others.

As each of the 33 womxn involved in “I am all womxn” sent in their lockdown interpretation of the powerful words of Bridget Gray, many pointed out what was not perfect about their video: oh I laughed at the end, the room is too small, the light is not right… what I realised as each pointed out their flaws was that, like the kintsukuroi pots in Japan: repaired with gold: the piece is more beautiful having been broken. Each video, was so beautiful, unique and complete, and that together they made a whole piece that showed strength, passion, vulnerability, humanity, and the many sides to a super hero.

So this week, like Charlie Mackesey, I am invite you to join me in being messy, in letting go of that unhelpful judgement and perfectionism and just have a go… because the earth without art is just eh!

Big loves everyone: you are super(s)heros!

Stay strong, find the silver linings, and when life gives you lemons: add them to your tea!

I love you,

Ella xxx

Ps. Here are some offerings which we hope might be helpful in these difficult times:

THE GETTING BETTER BOX

This week many of us got our Arts Council applications in just in time… fortunately many will be able to relax knowing they have their funds sorted… and sadly many more will not… it is important I feel that this award does not reflect our worth as artists… and that we come together as a community to uplift one another in this difficult time. This week we added to the funding section of the Getting Better Box in date order: there are a lot of other funding opportunities out there! This is also an online collection of all of all the tips, classes, facts, shared resources, poems, moments of hope we have come across over the past 5 weeks in lockdown.

I AM ALL WOMXN

I Am All Womxn is a response to spoken word piece “I am a woman” by Bridget Gray in our homes all over the world, and the facebook video has now had over 4K views… but we are trying to match that with the YouTube video… and with a goal that Ellen Degeneres and Oprah Winfrey share it!

Watch (and share) the video here

Read more about the project and the 33 women who took part in its creation here

SLATE WORLD

Slate World have some beautiful online events: this week is all about mental health and wellbeing.
Slate World – UK: Social with Naomi Mwasambili, Wed 6 May
Book a place >

CLASSES

I was teaching most of these sessions before lockdown in Leeds… but by taking them online, I have had visitors from classes I held ten years ago, from different cities, even some from across the world, and I have had visitors who may normally find getting out of the house a barrier. I have decided that somehow I will keep these classes online even after lockdown ends: through this time in lockdown I have really connected in a much deeper way to the importance of community and my purpose in being of service with these offerings. I would love for you to join us my EMC, EAC, BY and MG families! It has broken my heart a little that my beloved Dance On family are not able to attend class in these difficult times: I hope to see them again in person soon!

Embodied Alchemy | Path For Movement, Meditation, Mantra and Mudra with Ella Mesma:

Ella Mesma Company Monday Morning Movement Mantra (Online): Mondays at 11.11-12.12 BST “As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul…”

Maya Gandaia is about Moving from Illusion to Joy, and this session is designed to move through the archetypes to release the emotions and stories no longer serving us through motion and into our highest self.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ella-mesma-company-monday-morning-movement-mantra-50-minute-class-tickets-101367661404

Maya Gandaia Kundalini Yoga Class: Tuesdays at 18:30 – 19:45 BST “To boost your immunity, release fear and raise your vibration” Kundalini classes increase our physical vitality and expand our consciousness. The practice is in itself meditative, whilst simultaneously strengthening the physical body.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/kundalini-to-boost-your-immunity-release-fear-and-raise-your-vibration-tickets-101452609486

Business Yoga Desk Yoga 15:15 Session: Wednesdays at 15:15 – 15:30 BST

“Fifteen Moves to make you feel better at the desk” This simple and quick session is an energy boost: to rejuvinate body, mind and soul for all.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/take-a-break-15-moves-to-make-you-feel-better-reduce-stress-and-boost-your-immune-system-tickets-101371222054

Element Arts Latin Dance Classes: Saturdays at 11:00-12:00 BST I will be teaching Samba No Pe every Saturday, but the whole family have united to offer classes in Tango, Latin Hip Hop, and more…

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/element-arts-online-dance-classes-tickets

Maya Gandaia Live Stream with the www tribe: Saturdays at 12:15 – 12.30 BST Uniting with a beautiful global tribe of dancers, musicians and healers, the www tribe offer sessions free of charge on facebook

To find out more about the classes: or the many other classes listed on our site click here

Thank you for your follow

Covid Updates: April 26th: I am all womxn

Happy Sunday,

This weekend we have a little gift for you… something we have been making over the past two weeks, with 33 amazing womxn hiphop dancers women took part in the creation of I Am All Womxn is a response to spoken word piece “I am a woman” by Bridget Gray in our homes all over the world.

Watch the video here

I Am All Womxn is an extremely varied creative interpretation of the spoken word piece “I am a woman” by Bridget Gray, each section choreographed by the individual dancing it in reaction to the video before. You will see many different styles of dance: Breaking, House, HipHop, Locking, Popping, Krumping, Waacking and more… We hope this piece will celebrate womxn in our entirety and empower more of us embrace every side of ourselves as womxn.

Read more about the project and the 33 women who took part in its creation here

Plus, as always, these are some events which might help to offer support at this difficult time:

As part of Slate World, we’ve confirmed our first Eclipse Online events:The Slate World UK team invite Black Artists, and fellow artists who are also marginalised for their race, to join the virtual gatherings to connect, learn and share during this time.The following sessions have been curated and will be led by Slate World UK Enabler Melanie Abrahams and myself:

Slate World – UK: Social with Maya Chowdhry, Wed 29 Apr
Book a place >

Slate World – UK: Social with Naomi Mwasambili, Wed 6 May
Book a place >

The Getting Better Box

This is an online collection of all of all the tips, classes, facts, shared resources, poems, moments of hope I have been sent over the past month… there are things to experience, study… and lots of funding and other tips in this time of hardship.

If you are an artist and would like me to add your online class to the class list, please send it over! If you have some meditations you would like to give away, or know of a funding that might help a fellow artist: please email me it to ella@ellamesma.co.uk and I will try my best to get things added on a day by day basis to create a helpful shared resource…

Massive shout outs to all my artist friends who have contributed to this list!

CLASSES

When we sit still for a long time, we inhibit natural movement of the spine, making this a primary problem area, and also reducing the blood and oxygen pumped to the brain thus affecting our mood, concentration and stress levels, so we are offering the following classes:

MONDAY MORNING MOVEMENT MANTRA WITH ELLA MESMA COMPANY:

11.11-12.00 Ella Mesma Company Monday Morning Movement Mantra (Online)

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ella-mesma-company-monday-morning-movement-mantra-50-minute-class-tickets-101367661404

Ella Mesma Company morning class is an Embodied Alchemy Movement meditation. We do this class every morning and love how it sets up our body mind and soul for the day! Our classes marry Graham and Dunham contemporary techniques with elements of yoga and Cuban Contemporary, Afro Cuban and other folkloric styles. The sequences tend to move seamlessly in and out of the floor and can often be grounded, fluid and energetic. We describe them as a movement ritual.

CLASS WITH BUSINESS YOGA: Wednesdays at 15:15 – 15:30 BST

15:15: Fifteen Moves to make you feel better at the desk

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/take-a-break-15-moves-to-make-you-feel-better-reduce-stress-and-boost-your-immune-system-tickets-101371222054

CLASS WITH MAYA GANDAIA: KUNDALINI YOGA: Tuesdays at 18:30 – 19:45 BST (from 14th April)

To boost your immunity, release fear and raise your vibration

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/kundalini-to-boost-your-immunity-release-fear-and-raise-your-vibration-tickets-101452609486

CLASS WITH ELEMENT ARTS: Samba Saturdays at 11:00-12:00 BST

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/element-arts-online-dance-classes-tickets

MEDITATION WITH MAYA GANDAIA: Saturdays at 12:15 – 12.30 BST

To find out more about the classes: or the many other classes listed on our site click here

Big loves everyone: you are super(s)heros!

Stay strong, find the silver linings, and when life gives you lemons: add them to your tea!

I love you,

Ella xxx

Thank you for your follow

Covid Updates: Going slow and Happy Holidays

How are you coping with this strange new world? What are you doing for yourself to keep connected, to release the stress, to ground? I am coping mostly ok. I realised that if we look at the seven stages of grieving… I went for denial first… loads of action, and lots of connecting with friends. Then this week, staying home hit home, and I began to feel into my feelings… I am learning to take things slower. I am realising that I need to find ways to have daily human connection online, but also being more selective about how i do that.

We each are experiencing our own unique stresses and challenges at this time, and if we can offer support, connection, and paths for self-awareness, and love at this challenging time, I believe we will come out stronger and more connected.

These are some events which might help to offer support at this difficult time:

As part of Slate World, we’ve confirmed our first Eclipse Online events:The Slate World UK team invite Black Artists, and fellow artists who are also marginalised for their race, to join the virtual gatherings to connect, learn and share during this time.The following sessions have been curated and will be led by Slate World UK Enabler Melanie Abrahams and myself:

Slate World – UK: Social with Pauline Mayers, Wed 15 Apr
Book a place >

Slate World – UK: Masterclass with Astrid Elburg, Wed 22 Apr
Book a place >

Slate World – UK: Social with Maya Chowdhry, Wed 29 Apr
Book a place >

Slate World – UK: Social with Naomi Mwasambili, Wed 6 May
Book a place >

Slate World is transnational partnership promoting the visibility and mobility of Black artists, and fellow artists who are also marginalised for their race across Europe. Led by Eclipse Theatre with partners Theater De Meervaart, ICK Amsterdam and Teatro GRIOT, the two-year programme will open-up new potentials in programming, audience development, digitisation and cultural exchange.

The Getting Better Box

This is an online collection of all of all the tips, classes, facts, shared resources, poems, moments of hope I have been sent over the past month… there are things to experience, study… and lots of funding and other tips in this time of hardship.

If you are an artist and would like me to add your online class to the class list, please send it over! If you have some meditations you would like to give away, or know of a funding that might help a fellow artist: please email me it to ella@ellamesma.co.uk and I will try my best to get things added on a day by day basis to create a helpful shared resource…

Massive shout outs to all my artist friends who have contributed to this list!

CLASSES

When we sit still for a long time, we inhibit natural movement of the spine, making this a primary problem area, and also reducing the blood and oxygen pumped to the brain thus affecting our mood, concentration and stress levels, so we are offering the following classes:

MONDAY MORNING MOVEMENT MANTRA WITH ELLA MESMA COMPANY:

11.11-12.00 Ella Mesma Company Monday Morning Movement Mantra (Online)

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ella-mesma-company-monday-morning-movement-mantra-50-minute-class-tickets-101367661404

Ella Mesma Company morning class is an Embodied Alchemy Movement meditation. We do this class every morning and love how it sets up our body mind and soul for the day! Our classes marry Graham and Dunham contemporary techniques with elements of yoga and Cuban Contemporary, Afro Cuban and other folkloric styles. The sequences tend to move seamlessly in and out of the floor and can often be grounded, fluid and energetic. We describe them as a movement ritual.

CLASS WITH BUSINESS YOGA: Wednesdays at 15:15 – 15:30 BST

15:15: Fifteen Moves to make you feel better at the desk

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/take-a-break-15-moves-to-make-you-feel-better-reduce-stress-and-boost-your-immune-system-tickets-101371222054

CLASS WITH MAYA GANDAIA: KUNDALINI YOGA: Tuesdays at 18:30 – 19:45 BST (from 14th April)

To boost your immunity, release fear and raise your vibration

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/kundalini-to-boost-your-immunity-release-fear-and-raise-your-vibration-tickets-101452609486

CLASS WITH ELEMENT ARTS: Samba Saturdays at 11:00-12:00 BST

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/element-arts-online-dance-classes-tickets

MEDITATION WITH MAYA GANDAIA: Saturdays at 12:15 – 12.30 BST

To find out more about the classes: or the many other classes listed on our site click here

Big loves everyone: you are super(s)heros!

Stay strong, find the silver linings, and when life gives you lemons: add them to your tea!

I love you,

Ella xxx

Happy Holidays,

Thank you for your follow