Ella Mesma (UK)
Ella began dancing Salsa aged 15, and Samba no Pe aged 19. She has taught and performed on the Latin Dance Scene travelling to congresses and events in the UK, Turkey, Croatia, Denmark, Spain (even dancing with Moe Flex!), before pursuing a career in Contemporary dance. Ella was also awarded WCMT and Lisa Ullman scholarships which took her to Cuba, Brazil and New York to pursue her love for dances of the African diaspora, and in particular study Latin and Brazilian dance forms
She trained at Laban/LSCD conservatoires in London. Some highlights of her performance experience include touring internationally with the Russell Maliphant Company (The Rodin Project), performing for Lea Anderson (The Chomondeleys) (Trying it On), and the Olympics Opening Ceremony in the UK in 2012. She has also choreographed for the Brit Awards, paraded in Rio Carnival, and was Rainha Da Bateria (Queen of the Drums) for the London School of Samba and has been curating and touring Roots of Rumba (a festival to celebrate Latin dance theatre) since 2013.
She created Ella Mesma Company, in 2011, choosing to explore her roots in Latin dance and put those into the theatre. She was commissioned by Sadler’s Wells (London’sbiggest dance house) to perform AfroCuban influenced Ladylike in 2017. Ladylike was also second place for best production for the Lukas awards (Latin UK awards in 2018. She has been Associate Dance Artist at Dance City in Newcastle and is currently the Resident Artist at Trinity Centre in Bristol. She has had her choreography performed at The ICA Festival in South Africa, at the Women in Dance Leadership Conference in New York and her work has toured the UK.
About Ella Mesma Company:
“Dance at its most physical and most sensual.” - Lilia Prier-Tisdale
Ella Mesma Company are a British based dance theatre company who use folk dances in a contemporary context to allow transformation: telling personal and global and stories and connecting to our truest selves. The company strive to undo limiting beliefs and explore healing and celebrate cultural and social identity using dance and theatre.
Our work tends to reflect the diverse backgrounds and experiences of company members.Ella Mesma Company seek to champion a technique and create work which is empowering and inspiring to all audiences, where possible including audience interaction in our work.
With a mix of dance forms, circus and theatre, the work is bold, political and personal.