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Ella Mesma (Change Maker Artist)

UK born artist Ella Mesma’s project Foreign Bodies will explore and interrogate our understandings of cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation, asking what is our right and responsibility to our ancestry and h(er)(is)tory? It will protest the current ‘dis-ease’ and fear of ‘unknown’ and ‘cultural contamination’ as it ‘spreads from one generation to the next’, highlighting that despite a worldwide web that knows no borders, we hold onto colonial ideas of border control, illegal immigrants and nationalism. It will tell the stories of individuals on a human level, and echoe the bigger story: ancestry, evolution and the haunting manifestation of power structures historically.

She looks forward to using the Metal Residency to research and develop Foreign Bodies in Liverpool.

Quotes from initial research of Foreign Bodies:
“Artistically, scientifically and culturally significant… promises to be a powerful and dramatic work of richly layered relevancies.” Katy Noakes, OneDance UK


Ella is a dancer and choreographer. Her work draws from a number of styles and traditions including Afro Cuban, Hip Hop and Aerial dance. She trained at Laban and the London School of Contemporary Dance where she received an MA in Dance.  As an independent dancer Ella has worked for a number of leading companies including Russell Maliphant Company, Southpaw Dance Company as well as for Wendy Houston’s ‘Stupid Women’ and the Olympics Opening Ceremony.
Since its formation, Ella Mesma Company has been commissioned by a number of leading arts organisations including Sadler’s Wells and National Circus Centre. EMC is an Afro-Latin and Hip Hop dance theatre company that undoes limiting beliefs by exploring and celebrating cultural and social identity and diversity. With a mixed of dance forms and theatre to create bold, political, personal work that anyone can watch. They were resident company with Casa Latin American Festival, Dance City and Trinity Centre Bristol, and have presented work in a number of highly regarded venues / festivals such as The Place, Breakin’ Convention and Rich Mix.  In 2013, I was selected as a future Dance Leader for the ABLE leadership program and awarded a Bench fellowship for emerging female choreographers in 2015.