Ella Mesmais creating Dance Theatre Productions
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Thank you for visiting! Hello and welcome to my Patreon page!
Below you can find out more about me, my work, and some quotes from members of the public.
Who am I?
An established professional artist with over 15 years of experience in dance and movement, I trained at Laban/LSCD and also studied politics at Leeds university. I am of mixed heritage and was born in Canterbury, but grew up in Bristol. I have studied dance in Brazil (first visting in 2004), Cuba (first visiting in 2011), NYC (first visiting in 2009 with a Lisa Ullman scholarship) and the UK.
Performance highlights include Russell Maliphant Company, Lea Anderson (The Chomondeleys), Olympics Opening Ceremony. I was a Bench fellow and resident at Casa Latin American Festival (2015), Associate Artist at Dance City (2017), Associate Artist Trinity Centre Bristol (2018), Slate World Artist (2020), Pervasive Media Studio Resident (2020). I curated She Created Her Life Festival, and produced 5 Roots Of Rumba events: an international dance festival. A WCMT grant took me to Brazil and Cuba (2017) and AIDF awards (2018) took me to Capetown collaborating with South African poet Toni Stuart.
‘Maya Gandaia’ translates as ‘Illusion to Joy’ and is an Embodied Alchemy concept I created for empowering creatives to release their fears, re-connect to their passion and power, and create a life of joy. I am also championing a wellness project called Business Yoga which is all about supporting companies to put wellbeing at the heart of their ethos.
With my dance company, Ella Mesma Company, ‘Ladylike’ was runner up as ‘Best Dance Production of The Year’ LUKAS Awards (2018). Highlights include our recent work Foreign Bodies: An Underwater Love Story, funded by Arts Council of England and Metal (Liverpool). The company has been commissioned by Sadler’s Wells (Wildcard 2017), RBKC (2015) Metal (2018), Breakin Convention (2011, 2012), Women’s International Leadership Conference, NYC (2017), National Circus Centre (2018), ICA Festival, Capetown (2018), IETM (2019).
I have studied yoga since 2004, and trained to teach Vinyasa yoga with Abby Hoffman (Embodied Dancer Teacher Training) in 2011 (with a Gil Clarke Scholarship), then Kundalini at the Karam Kriya School in 2018 and with Yoga Body (Yoga Trapeze) in 2020. I have also practised Ashtanga since 2015. I have delved into various Embodiment trainings such as TRE, The Wheel Of Consent, Holistic Pelvic Care and the coaching of William Whitecloud.
My first dance was Salsa: I started to dance it aged 14 in Bristol. I was also the founder of EAC (Element Arts Company) in Leeds (now handed over to the collective and managed by Hannah Bertram). I took this company to gigs across the world (Including two visits to India), we won a salsa competition in 2008, and featured on tv shows and in music videos including for the talented 'Ty'. I was Rainha da Bateria for London School of Samba in 2007, and a passista in Rio in 2006. I took up breaking (breakdance) in Birmingham where I also worked for Birmingham Royal Ballet, [email protected] and Fox Hollies. Breaking was a refreshing alternative to the latin world, and our most recent creation: has received over 6,500 views on Facebook: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rvBt4k69SA&t=8s
What am I looking for?
We are not a regularly funded organisation. A supporter called John introduced me to Patreon as a way to generate income from supporters. From £1 to £1000, that support really helps the artist to stay an artist!
I am asking supporters to donate as much or as little as you can towards making monthly donations. These monthly payments will go towards funds to put work onto the stage, pay dancers to rehearse and perform, light work professionally and continue to share our work.
A big THANK YOU to you for taking the time to read this campaign, for sharing it, and for making a monetary difference to our projects!
Some quotes about stuff we have made:
“The talented dancers of the Ella Mesma Company keep the audience engaged and interested throughout the piece and transmit a convincing message that everybody can relate to” Julia-Carolin Zeng (Dance GRiST)
“Totally swept away by the powerful performances of the four women! They do represent a diaspora of desires, fears and heroism!” (Casa Festival 2019) South Social Film Fest
“An absurd, comical, and emotionally charged ritual of dance theatre” Bristol 24/7 2019
“Beautiful Choreography, the sound was mesmerising (Gave me goosebumps) and what incredibly powerful performers”(Casa Festival 2019) Jum Faruq
“Talented dancers and a convincing message: The talented dancers of the Ella Mesma Company display a wide range of dance styles in Ladylike, and each uses all the opportunities each style offers. They keep the audience engaged and interested throughout the piece and transmit a convincing message that everybody can relate to.” (Casa Festival 2019) Julia-Carolin Zeng
Ladylike should be compulsory watching for the world” (IETM, Hull 2019) Chris Megginson, Yorkshire Dance
A unique movement language at the crossroads of theatre, Latin and Hip hop, together with a punchy feminist approach” Eva Martinez: Artistic Programmer & Artist Development, Sadler’s Wells
“Diverse, inclusive and completely engaging” Candice Wu, Bristol 2018
“A true marriage of dance, feeling, culture, politics and love” Carly Trigg, Northwich 2018
“Brilliant: Vibrant, life affirming dance with enormous power to move and inspire” Fiona Young: Audience member, Leeds 2018
“Be prepared to dance, laugh and cry” Audience member, London 2018
“The best dance event in the UK” Audience member, London 2018
“This is one of the most amazing events of the year!” Iris De Brito, Batuke Festival 2017
“An Under Water Love story tackles some big, serious issues, through some amazing choreography and in a way that I think will be accessible to lots of audiences. I think it’s probably going to leave people who see it with plenty to think about but having had a really entertaining night out. I’m delighted Kala Sangam has supported its creation.” Alex Croft, Creative Director – Kala Sangam
“The dance is immense. So brilliant to see new movement vocabulary. You are generating a truly unique movement style which seems to come from everywhere; African, Spanish, Latin, hip hop, contemporary all entwined together. I was intrigued to see your work and this did not disappoint. The dancers and choreography are amazing. I got a little excited tingle watching the dance, you have got something good cooking with this production!” Selina Mcgonagle, Geraldine Connor Foundation
“The underwater world was a really powerful analogy of her ideas: they were coming through really strongly” Dawn Holgate
“A really intricate mesmerising piece… I found it very empowering” Leanna (Audience, Leeds)
“When you see people respond to a dance piece who may not normally come in such a passionate way then you know you’re on a winner” Joe Williams
“I think she is one of the most intuitive artists I have ever met, an artist who really uses dreaming as a tool.” David Evans, Artist in the piece
“Ella has a gift and she needs to share it” Benedicta Valentina, Artist in the piece
“I thought the dancers were absolutely mesmerising” Jen (Audience, Leeds)
'Strong & Empowering' Richmix
'Brilliant show and Q&A session' Mandinga
'Timeless and current issues that women continue to face everyday' The Tabernacle
'Absolutely stunning and provocative piece I saw last night , thank you for the inspiration and celebration of your exploration!!!' Yorkshire Dance
'Completely engaged- enthralling, emotional, inspiring and grounding' Mercy Nabirye
Below are the links if you would like to connect.
Facebook: Ella Mesma or Maya Gandaia
IG : @EllaMesma or @Maya_Gandaia
Websites: www.mayagandaia.com www.ellamesma.co.uk www.businessyoga.co.uk
Wishing you wellness,