Ela Mesma Company

Dispora Dance Theatre

July News: Leeds, London and Birmingham this month…

Ẹ n lẹ, Salut, Olá,  你好, Hello Creative Being,

It is my pleasure to see you here and share our news

This months newsletter contents:

LADYLIKE in London
AN UNDERWATER LOVESTORY in Birmingham (Plus workshop)
THAILAND: Thailand for NYE
SLATE WORLD Residential

Ella Mesma Company is a British based dance theatre company who use a diverse range of folkloric dancestyles, inspired by my background in Afro-Latin, Breaking and Contemporary dance. The company strive to use diaspora dance theatre (a term we created to communicate this meeting of dances) to allow transformation: telling personal and global stories to connect to our truest selves.

Ladylike in London
See us LIVE with our new cast!
Are you a hero? Or feeling a bit chicken? Ladylike is a super-heroines journey in which four warrior women use hip hop theatre and sexually charged Rumba to take a fierce, frank and funny look at gender roles and face their deepest fears and desires.

The role originally created for my story in the piece will be danced by the amazing Lucia Afonso who will be flying in from Lisbon and is a bgirl, jiu jitsu queen and an exquisite dancer of Afro Brazilian styles!

Dates are 16,18,19,20th July. I will also be watching on the 16th and would love for you to join me!

Here is our friends and family discount code: LOVEFRIENDS

And here is the website for tickets and our facebook event:



Foreign Bodies in Birmingham
See an extract from our newest show in Birmingham!

Foreign Bodies is an underwater love story and quiz show that crosses borders and oceans to explore what divides and what unites us.

Two awesome dancers: Isaac Ouro Gnao and David Evans (plus myself on the mic!) will be presenting extracts of Foreign Bodies as part of the Free Radical Uk’s Festival Of Audacity, ⁣Supported by Dancexchange

Performances will taking place at Rotunda Square at the Bullring and at New Street Station on the 19 & 20th of July.
I am also leading a FREE movement workshop at DanceXchange on the 19th.

Photo by Earth Motion Pictures . Here are the websites for tickets and our facebook event:




The Masks We Wear
Sometimes the performance we put on in life can be more restricting than the freedom we find on stage. The Masks We Wear is a project for young women to explore public and private identity through dance and costume.

This week we finished the biggest brush strokes version of this very special project in Leeds.

Working in collaboration with costume designer Costuminati  and in partnership with Vamos Festival, funded by Leeds Inspired, we are super excited to bring this show to the world on July 21st at Millenium Square in Leeds

Here is the facebook event:


Join us for NYE in Thailand
Would you love to create a retreat to Thailand?

To spend NYE with other beautiful creative beings?

To reflect on 2019 and vision for 2020?

To look at how you would love to transform and celebrate who you are?

We will spend 8 days and 7 nights in the beautiful Chiang Mai, Thailand and bring in the New Year.

This is a retreat like no other. I will be delivering the FULL Path For Series for the first time, as well as many other amazing activities in a luxury 5* homestay.

In Thailand, we will also have a daily (optional) meditation for the earlybird, afternoon yoga (5 days of Kundalini classes to complement the Path For workshops, plus vinyasa classes on the first and last days), 2 massages, a herbal steam, delicious food and juices to give your immune system a boost, airport transfers, visits to the mountains, waterfalls, lanna wooden houses, coffee plantations, temples, cookery school and more!

Places are limited to 11, and the early bird deal of £1500 is available until the 1st August (Payments to begin mid August).

I will be holding a live chat to answer all your questions about the retreat on July 22nd https://www.facebook.com/events/295169114599440/

Or if you just know it is for you and want to reserve your spot
Fill in your form Here.

Read more about the retreat and see photos of the beautiful beds, swimming pool and grounds here

Slate World
Slate World is a new transnational partnership that will promote the visibility and mobility of Black* artists and professionals across Europe, opening up new potentials in programming, audience development, digitisation and cultural exchange.

This month I have had the pleasure of meeting an amazing team of artists and creatives on the UK residency in the North of England: one of whom: Chérie Taylor Battiste released her new book ‘Lioness’ today on amazon. We visited Home in Manchester, Metal in Liverpool, East Street Arts in Leeds and many more spots.

One of the many highlights of the residency was a visit to Harewood House in Leeds, where the Geraldine Connor Foundation performed Carnival Messiah in 2007.

At the house, Mez Galaria delivered a talk about the experience of being in the production. It felt so powerful to hear her speak up about the slavery that meant this and many other stately homes in the UK exist. With us was also the amazing Emily Zobel Marshall (for whom I will perform on the 11th July for the launch of her new book American Trickster: Trauma, Tradition and Brer Rabbit and who also wrote this poem inspired by a true story explained below:

A Good Day Out

by Emily Zobel Marshall

Harewood House is a grand house and estate in Yorkshire. This poem was inspired by a meeting of Harewood House curators during which a curator insisted that if any reference to slavery was made in the great house exhibition it ‘mustn’t spoil a good day out’. The wealth of Harewood House comes directly from plantation slavery and the slave trade. (Recently, there have been greater efforts made by the owners of the estate to address and acknowledge the connections between the estate and slavery but still nothing written in the house).

Nowadays, at Harewood House
you can visit penguins
— 2pm is feeding time —
you can watch the silvery fish
disappear down feathered gullets
take a boat on the shimmering lake
munch on scones and drink fine tea
it’s such a good day out

Below deck

in the cavernous kitchen

a sign celebrates old culinary treasures;

sugar, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon
once filled these cool dark larders
spilling their scent into Yorkshire stone

In times past

Cook had them at her fingertips
she knew their journey well
her hands spiced and sweetened cakes and puddings

for lords and ladies reclined upstairs

see; here are her dented baking tins and trays
authentic and robust
this history, take it in

it’s such a good day out

But Cook knew the other story

of every hessian bag of sugar
warmed by island heat
each grain distilled
from macheted canes
felled by sun-whipped hands
she understands

there is no sweetness here

the story of the sugar

and the slaves that made

her masters rich

falls silent on her lips

for it would only spoil

a very good day out

Here are links to buy Lioness, to attend Emily Zobel Marshall’s book launch on the 11th July and to find out more about Slate World:




Adiós, Adeus, ìkíni ti ìpínyà, Au Revoir, 再见, Much love,

And from the whole amazing team:

Anna, Azara, Hsing Ya, Lucia, Rachel, David, Franck, Milton, Isaac, Elsabet, Jemma, Pareesha, Cherie, Isabella, Farida, Laura (and everyone else from the Ella Mesma Company family: we wish you the all the best!)

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