Wild card is a Sadler’s Wells theatre event, giving emerging artists an opportunity to curate an evening of work, and their audience a chance to see work by a new generation of dance makers.

At the crossroads of hip-hop, latin and theatre, the multi-faceted dancer and choreographer Ella Mesma curated Guerreras (“Female warriors” in Spanish), an evening focusing on the female perspective and tempestuous history of the latin dance style rumba, themed around the slang word for woman as ‘chick’ or ‘hen’.

Mesma explored the politically and sexually charged Rumba dance, inviting guest artists Yinka Esi Graves (dotdotdot dance), Houston Dance Collective and Luanda Pau Baquero interweaved with extracts from her latest production, Ladylike.

The evening was a chance to reflect on gender roles, sexuality and what history can teach us across time and cultures, this ‘absurd, comical, and emotionally charged ritual’ (Stuart Carter) performance, where four daughters, mothers, wives and lovers cluck, peck and undress their stories, reclaims the word ‘Ladylike’.

The evening began with the screening of an edit of The Black Roots of Salsa from 7pm, and was followed by a post-show rumba class by Luanda Pau Baquero.

Our partners and supporters:

Thank you to Emily Crouch, Eva Martinez, Robyn Cabaret, Phil Douglas, Patricia Stead, Neville Campbell, Yersin Guillen Rivas, Miguel Gonzalez, Luanda Pau, Dance City, Sadler’s Wells, and to all the wise women, wise men, wild women, dancers, friends, family and supporters involved in this event and production.