Ela Mesma Company

Dispora Dance Theatre

The Jellyfish Metaphor: Dealing with trauma

How are jellyfish, dna, cancer, brain waves, stained glass windows, nature, space, the universe connected?

I came across this article on one of my favourite sites: Medium, and I just knew this would be the basis of my new work ‘Foreign Bodies’.

“Recently, a friend told me something I didn’t know about jellyfish: that certain types of jellyfish are responsible for bringing little bits of nutrients from the depths of the seas all the way up to the surface of the water. They deposit bits of those nutrients as they push their way upward, contributing nibbles for all sorts of creatures in the ecosystem. When I heard this, I immediately thought of how this can be a metaphor for our lives, and dealing with trauma. In the deep, dark places, things happen to us. We get hurt. We’re betrayed. We’re abused. It’s traumatic. And it’s very easy to keep all of these experiences in the depths. But, what would happen if we followed the way of the jellyfish? What if we decided to leave the depths and head toward the surface of the ocean?”. Beebe Sharkey

We are one and the same… a collective experience, all connected… via the worldwide web, via brainwaves, via Gaia, the universe… all the arguing and pettiness over difference… but ultimately… we are all equals.

In an age where tools like the web connect us, ‘Foreign Bodies’ explores why there is such ‘dis-ease’ around ‘other’. Building upon themes of medicine and science, the work draws parallels to the fear of ‘contamination’ and need for border controls. The piece crosses oceans to illuminate the enormity of time, telling the stories of individuals on a human level, and echoing the bigger story: ancestry, evolution and the haunting manifestation of power structures historically.

Foreign Bodies is a celebration of dance and music to pulsating and intertwining Afro House and Kuduro rhythms, ‘Foreign Bodies’ crosses borders and cultures to ask whether cultural traditions become lost with globalisation? What remains of our heritage once cultures mix? What is our right and responsibility to our ancestry and h(er)(is)tory?

What I love is that with the creation of each new piece it is like a new person: The piece has its own personality… I can’t wait to meet this personality and and work with a truly incredible team of artists!

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