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Welcome to Utwopia
Image by: Vikki Marie Page
BSL translation

Welcome to Utwopia

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Lunchtime Talks

Talk + Live stream

Please note: This event took place in Nov 2021

Ella Mesma has been creating a project which combines dance, aerial, storytelling and tech. Hosted on Topia in Ella’s very own world (Utwopia), Papyllon & The Rainbow Butterfly explore identity, heritage, imposter syndrome and privilege inspired by the lifecycle of the butterfly. Her world was built in collaboration with tech visionary Bryan Aldea and illustrator Jessica Rosas. In this Lunchtime Talk, Ella will be sharing her playful online world where she will eventually host the new shows, children’s book, imposter syndrome course and workshops.

Who is Ella?

Ella Mesma is an established professional artist with over 15 years of experience in dance, yoga, and meditation. Artistic Director of Ella Mesma Company, Maya Gandaia Ltd and co-director of award winning company Business Yoga, Ella also ran a carnaval arts company for 7 years. The published author of Journal to Joy and about to publish a second book, Mesma offers a 9 month coaching programme for creatives (The Goddxx Path) and yearly retreats to Thailand, Portugal and Morocco.

As a choreographer & human, she is interested in unlearning to get back to our authentic selves, in transformation, wellbeing and in story telling; in particular putting the stories she would love to have seen growing up on stage. Her creative passions include painting, capoeira, salsa, surfing, travel and speaking languages. Of mixed heritage, born in Kent, grew up in Bristol, now based between Leeds where she studied politics, Lisbon and Bristol.

Ella Mesma began her dance career dancing salsa in Bristol, then studied under Merville Jones (a founder of Phoenix) based in Leeds before going to Brazil to study samba and aerial, where she paraded in carnaval as a passista in 2006. Ella travelled to many countries (including Denmark, Serbia, India, Turkey, Spain, South Africa) to perform and teach at salsa events and congresses.

In 2009, Ella was awarded a Lisa Ullman scholarship to train with Angel Ortiz (RIP) in NYC in On2, and also attended sessions with Yamulee, Santo Rico, Eddie Torres, Magna Gopal. She has performed salsa shows with Moe Flex, Sami Rodrigues, Iris de Brito, Andrea Stewart, Miguel Gonzalez. Ella began breaking just before she began her conservatoire training at LSCD (the Place) in 2009 (& an MA in 2017).

Ella was a Dance On artist at Yorkshire Dance. She created and toured Roots of Rumba Festival (2013-2018). Performance highlights include Russell Maliphant Company, Lea Anderson (The Chomondeleys), Olympics Opening Ceremony. Ella Mesma Company have performed at theatres worldwide and Ella has been commissioned by Sadler’s Wells, Manchester International Festival (Little Amal) and the National Centre for Circus. Ella has been Associate Artist at Dance City (2017), Trinity Centre Bristol (2018), Slate World (2020), Pervasive Media Studio, Pavillion Dance South West (2020-2021).

After the talk, you can stay at the Studio for Open Studio Fridays - join us for the afternoon to continue the conversation or work on your own projects. The Studio provides chairs, tables, wireless and a great space. You bring what you need to work with (laptop/mobile). Tell us what you’re up to, or allow us to facilitate conversations within the resident community. Studio staff and residents will be around to chat, answer questions, or tell you more about what we do. The open afternoons close at 17:00, sometimes with a trip to the Café & Bar.