Foreign Bodies

Ella Mesma Company collaborates with technology experts and composer Sabio Janiak to create a dance that crosses time, borders, cultures, oceans. Set within a TV Box, Foreign Bodies, is an Underwater Love Story which explores what it is to belong to one heritage or to belong to many… and the interplay between heritage and a person’s identity as a citizen of the world.

Combining stunning choreography, a fantastic cast and a touch of humour, Foreign Bodies is a healing ritual to which you are invited and where the collision of difference becomes a dance of understanding and love overcomes discrimination and fear.

With Brexit providing a pertinent backdrop, Foreign Bodies is set on two TV stations which contrast and connect the farcical world of a quiz show and the magic of a nature documentary about jellyfish..

In an age where the power and reach of the web connect and divide us, the anonymous quiz show highlights the absurdity of the British citizenship test, exploring what is gained and lost through cultural exchange. The healing world of the jellyfish documentary tells the stories of individuals, families, communities and echoes the bigger stories: ancestry, her-story and the haunting legacy of power structures.

THEMES: Race, Racism, Gender, Identity, Love, Power, Fear, Brexit, Migration, Transformation, Colonialism, History, Herstory, Environment, Nature, Nurture, Society, Control, Orixás, Mythology, Healing, Shamanism…

Dancers: Isaac Ouro Gnao, David Evans, Benedicta Valentina, Ofelia Balogun
and we honour and love Patrick Ziza who was involved in the first R&D of the work and Elsabet Yonas, Franck Arnaud Lusbec and Lucia Afonso from the second R&D.

Actor: Milton Lopes (plus the voice of Ama Rouge)

Choreography: Ella Mesma and Dancers

Script: Ella Mesma with input from Dr Edson Burton, Milton Lopes, Luke Pell, Isaac Ouro Gnao, Joe Williams

Costume: Sabrina Henry

Lighting: Alan Dawson

Music: Written by Sabio Janiak. Piano, vocal, didgeridoo, ocarina, drums, programming, percussion, clarinet, electronica by Sabio Janiak. Duele vocal by Ella Mesma. Povo vocal by Nuno Silva

Technology: Benjamin Winstone (Gentleman Octopus) (Initial stages) and Tarim

Dramaturgical Support: Luke Pell (through South East Dance Collaborate: Dramaturg in Residence 2018) and Dr Edson Burton

Photography and Videography: Jessica Mitchell (Earth Motion Photography), Ashley Karrell (Panoptical) and Ersen Ermis

Funding: Arts Council of England, Metal Liverpool (Change Maker artist in residency 2018), South East Dance (Collaborate: Dramaturg in Residence 2018), Eclipse Theatre (Playpot), Audience members via Crowd Funding.

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