Ela Mesma Company

Dispora Dance Theatre

Ella Mesma’s Updates (October 2018)

Olá, Hola, Bonjour, Pẹlẹ o!

Dear wonderful humans and supporters of our company old and new,

Welcome to our October update. With the autumn leaves arriving and new projects in action, October is an exciting time, but also a time for balance: cosy times indoors, for reflection on a beautiful summer, and for taking time to plant seeds and create space for new creations and ideas to take fruit.
The company have been doing just that: reflecting on a beautiful summer shared with incredible artists and yourselves, and planting seeds in the form of a new piece of work about healing and heart. Below is an extract from our company blog about Roots of Rumba, our recommends page of artists making magic happen, a video extract of interviews with the amazing artists at Roots of Rumba, and a new workshop. HOME which I will be touring around the UK kickstarts on the 4th November at The Place in London. (Book by October 15th to receive an early bird discount).

This summer at EMC has included creating Papyllon: a 30 minute duet collaborating with poet Toni Stuart in South Africa thanks to the AIDF fund (I will write more about this life changing experience in November). Have a look on the company website for photos of the show (like the one above by Lindsey Appolis taken at the ICA Festival in Capetown). 

I am also delighted to announce the beginnings of new Arts Council funded project Foreign bodies and inspired by Jellyfish, which myself and four artist have been creating across the UK. We are creating in Liverpool at Metal, Bristol at the Trinity Centre and London at various venues (supported by Dance Umbrella and Sadler’s Wells). Thank you Arts Council for your support and the incredibly talented team of international artists Franck Arnaud-Lusbec, Lucia Afonso, David Evans, Milton Lopes and dramaturgy Luke Pell (plus special guests in London), South East Dance all the venues who have hosted us and Arts Council (More about this project will be revealed next month…).

Meanwhile: our workshops and events: we would love to see you there! We hope you are enjoying the first signs of autumn, and we wish you a beautiful month planting seeds, getting cosy and being the change! 

Much love,


Watch the Roots of Rumba team Q&A here
HOME WORKSHOP with Ella Mesma at The Place, London

DATE: 4th November
TIMES: 16.30-18.00
COSTS: £15 (Earlybird) or £20 (After October 15th)

My knowledge and training as a dancer and yoga teacher have all informed my workshops, in particular my training in Graham technique in New York, Afro-Latin styles in Cuba at LA Ena and with my teachers here in the UK, Afro Brazilian at Funceb and Capoeira with Mojuba, cyphering/ freestyling as a bgirl/salsera/passista and workshops with Russell Maliphant Company, myofascial release, Butoh and animal flow/ nature.

A culmination of all these different concepts and workshops is how I have arrived at my sequence of Ella Mesma Company workshops: HOME, WOMB, CREATE, HEART, SING and FLY, as well as offering pure technique classes. To read about the dance styles I teach and study click here

“I am inspired watching dancers moving languidly, passionately, and following the natural circles and rhythms inside all of us. I love to use the music and creative imagination as the driving force in my class, and in coming home to our natural and unique style.” Ella Mesma 

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 20 places available and a £5 discount of you book before the 15th October. We also have a class on in Bristol this Thursday: https://www.3ca.org.uk/activities/ignite/whats-on/ignite-classes/ella-mesma-company-class

Buy your pass to class at The Place below:

Sign Up Now

We did it! Thank you to everyone who attended ROOTS OF RUMBA. We toured 5 cities, our shows were seen by 470 people, we showed 19 pieces of work by artists from across the UK and abroad and held three banging afterparties! Roots of Rumba was a celebration of dance and music deriving from Africa and Latin America. It was a healing heartfelt show of dance, music, spoken word, beatboxing. The classes were taught by absolute masters in their fields, the audience bought a beautiful energy (Candela!) and the DJs at all three afterparties were internationally acclaimed and on fire!

Myself and all of ROOTS OF RUMBA would like to say a huge thank you to:

Arts Council of England, Eclipse Theatre, Cheshire Dance, Trinity Centre, Yorkshire Dance Centre, Lion Salt Works, Horniman Museum, Dance City, The Wardrobe, Kommunity Newcastle

To the team: Julia Testa (superheroine), Carly Woodbridge, Amanda Demerara Royes, Ingrid Santos, Jane McClean, Degna Stone.

To all the artists involved: Ama Rouge and Ama Rouge Ensemble, Luanda Pau, Sandra Passirani, Dani Sands, Myriam Gadri, Marv Radio, Franck Arnaud-Lusbec, Ffion Campbell-Davies, Miguel Gonzalez, Orquidea Lima, Neelam Suman, Xavier Osmir, Lubi Jovanovic, Nandy Selectorchico Cabrera, Azara Meghie, Anna Alvarez, Hsing Ya Wu, Ella Mesma Company, Iris De Brito, Rise Youth Dance, Helen Wilson, Mestre Piolho (Rafael Braga), Paige Lyons, D.O.P.E. Male Performance Co, Jack Robinson, Latisha Cesar, Marie Mathias (x2), Unidos Do Ritmo, Akeim Toussaint, Patricia Verity Suarez, Juliette & Georgina Lance, Francis Odongo.

And most of all to EVERYONE who supported our event: Thank you! Read more about the event and check out more fotos by Ersen Ermis at the link below:

Read the blog

7th October: THE OREO COMPLEX by Isaac Ouro-Gnao 

Fresh from making new work at Sadler’s Wells and The Place, London artist Isaac Ouro-Gnao tackles what it means to be black and British within the troubled turbulence of the 21st century. https://www.richmix.org.uk/events/theatre/oreo-complex

10th October: 10 Week Samba Course: SWEAT SASS SKILL SAMBA™ with Ama Rouge: Ama likes to keep numbers small so she can cater to individual needs so if you want in, book now before she fills up! Email [email protected]to book and for full info

13th October: D-CODE with Yael Karavan: Where do we come from? What does ‘home’ mean to us? D-Code explores these questions through physical theatre, dance, stunning visuals, video mapping and an original soundscape by Carl Beukman. https://www.facebook.com/karavan.ensemble/posts/2192575924117784

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.



And that’s all we have space for! Don’t forget to follow our facebook page and instagram accounts for insights and giveaways: Congratulations to Valenrine Jules who won a free ticket to We Created Our Life this month.

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

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