PDSW will work in-depth with one company per year to support their artistic goals with finance, studio space, in/formal performance opportunities and ongoing conversation. The call out for our annual Company in Residence is in January. In March 2020 independent dancer/choreographer Jazz Gritt and independent Changemaker and producer Natasha Player joined PDSW staff Zannah Chisholm and Jeanette Hinton to select this year’s Company in Residence and Visiting Artists.
For 2020 – 21 our Company in Residence is Ella Mesma.
Ella Mesma Company is a British based dance theatre company who use a diverse range of folkloric dance styles, inspired by director Ella’s background in Afro-Latin, Breaking and Contemporary dance. The company strive to use diaspora dance theatre (a term they created to communicate this unique meeting of dance styles) to allow transformation: telling personal and global stories to connect to our truest selves, and create powerful, personal and political work.
Discover more about Ella Mesma’s career journey in Dance as she talks to PDSW’s Performance & Artist Development Producer, Jeanette Hinton. Learn how seeing salsa performed at the age of fourteen left a lifelong impression on Ella that would change the path of her professional life from politics and law to Contemporary Dance.
Check out the video below:
For a full transcription of the interview – please click here
Also take a look at Ella Mesma’s most recent film created during Lockdown – ‘I Am All Womxn’ on her website. In Ella’s own words….
“33 amazing womxn hiphop women took part in the creation of ‘I Am All Womxn’ in their homes all over the world (filmed in UK, USA, Portugal, Cyprus, Brazil). ‘I Am All Womxn’ is an extremely varied creative interpretation of the spoken word piece ‘I am a woman’ by Bridget Gray, each section choreographed by the individual dancing it in reaction to the video before. You will see many different styles of dance: Breaking, House, HipHop, Locking, Popping, Krumping, Waacking and more… We hope this piece will celebrate womxn in our entirety and empower more of us embrace every side of ourselves as womxn”.
Come back to see the work she creates during her time with us over the next weeks and months!
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