Ela Mesma Company

Dispora Dance Theatre

Ella Mesma’s Updates (November 2018)

Olá, Hola, Bonjour, Pẹlẹ o to all our friends and supporters,

Welcome to our November update. We hope you are all well and enjoying the pumpkins and fireworks: autumn has truly arrived, and what better time for creating, reflection and some deep learning!

Above is the talented Dani Sands who performed at Roots of Rumba this summer. Photo by Ersen Ermis.

Below you can read all about this months workshops, Roots of Rumba and Papyllon updates and footage and all our recommends! Wishing you a beautiful month creating what you love!

Much love,



Here at Ella Mesma Company, we have been creating a new show: Arts Council funded project Foreign bodies: an underwater love story danced to Fado, Kizomba and Kuduro rhythms by composer Sabio Janiak.

Told through the narration of our host Milton Lopes, Foreign Bodies is an interactive anonymous quiz show which we are developing with Gentlemen Octopus Limited that explores what it means to be a citizen of the world. In an age where tools like the web connect us, ‘Foreign Bodies’ crosses borders and oceans illuminating the enormity of time to tell the stories of individuals and echoing the bigger stories: ancestry, evolution and the haunting legacy of historical power structures.

Inspired by Jellyfish, Foreign Bodies is about the healing of trauma and the planet earth. We had some wonderful artists join us on a creative R&D across the UK: Franck Arnaud-Lusbec, Lucia Afonso, David Evans, Elsabet Yonas and Isaac Ouro Gnao as well as actor Milton Lopes and dramaturgy Luke Pell. We visited Metal in Liverpool, The Trinity Centre in Bristol and Shoreditch Town Hall via Dance Umbrella and Sadler’s Wells in London. Thank you Arts Council for your support and all the venues which hosted us. The interview about the process of this first phase of R&D is not quite ready but keep an eye out as we will be releasing it this month!

Dancing Words

I joined Dancing Words to film two poetry dance pieces for two wonderful poets: Warsan Shire and Mimi Khalvati and costumes by Sabrina Henry and make up by Michela Di Felice. I can’t wait to see the results!


With time to sit down and reflect, I was able to put in to words all of the emotions I felt in South Africa in this bloghttps://ellamesma.co.uk/blog/papyllon about my journey creating a duet with Poet Toni Stuart. In this newsletter you will also see the first draft of the trailer of our piece, called Papyllon below:

Papyllon Trailer
Roots Of Rumba

In July through to September we toured Roots of Rumba: a beautiful event. Above is a foto taken by photographer Ersen Ermis of Ffion Campbell Davies in her performance of “Womb Paves Way” which premiered with us here at Richmix. Below you will see a teaser of some of the shows that were a part of the tour.

Roots of Rumba teaser trailer
I have been thinking about how art can be used as a tool to tell personal and global and stories and speak up about what is happening in the world. It has been a strange and sad time in the world, with Bolsonaro coming to power in Brazil, the migrant caravan headed from Honduras to the US and the death of Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey, and so this message from Marianne Williamson of the Teach the Teachers training I have been doing this month felt poignant:

“We don’t speak forcefully enough when it comes to politics, the environment, and social issues. If we continue polluting the air and water, we could lose civilisation as we know it. If we continue to suppress the vote among large groups of people, we could lose our democracy.

We cannot pretend this isn’t happening. There’s a difference between transcendence and denial. Negative denial is when you’re just not looking at it. Positive denial is when you realise it’s happening, but you deny its ability to go any further, now that you’re here. You deny its ultimate power over you.

We have to use our spiritual perspectives to reduce ourselves to zero—so that we can be present for the really big issues facing humanity. To be really available to the suffering of humanity, it has to mean more than just the suffering of the individual. We have to wake up to the collective suffering”.

This is why I love art as a tool to protest and make our views heard. This month I saw an awesome piece of street art in Bristol, and continue to resolve to make art which does not ignore the problems of the world and spreads love!

HOME WORKSHOP with Ella Mesma at The Place, London

DATE: 4th November
TIMES: 16.30-18.00
COSTS: £20

HOME: Starting with the feet and the ‘Yonvalou’ from Haiti (which traces back to Benin in West Africa), HOME is is part of a series of workshops which I use with my company dancers to encourage us to come home to our bodies, using dance and the voice as a healing tool to and expression of freedom. HOME uses different improvisation techniques to discover the unique movement language within all of us.  Danced to Latin and Afro house, (and other awesome tracks) HOME includes body isolations, contract/release work, floorwork and the imagination!

We have 6 places left and I would love to share this special workshop with lovers of good music that moves you: all experiences welcome: just come with an open heart and imagination! Reserve your tickets at this link below:

Sign Up Now
3rd November: WE CREATED OUR LIFE with Tichea Brade 

is about inspiring and empowering people to create the life they would love. The event focuses on connection and leadership, because effective communication can be the catalyst for change. In this world where we have become disconnected from ourselves and others, good communication skills can enable real human heart connection, leading to a happier and more connected community.

I will also be sharing a workshop called HEART at the event


And that’s all we have space for! (Photo above of Francis Odongo taken by Nicola Hunter at our Newcastle CPD day).

Don’t forget to follow our facebook page and instagram accounts for insights and giveaways: We think this article about the true roots of Halloween is a fascinating read!

Thank you for reading our news and have a wonderful month!

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