Foreign Bodies: An Underwater Love Shoot

by Ella Mesma in Leeds, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 18th April 2019 we successfully raised £60 with 3 supporters in 28 days

We need a stunning photo for our tour and we need some help to make that happen!

by Ella Mesma in Leeds, England, United Kingdom

Told through the narration of our host Milton Lopes, Foreign Bodies is a love story which takes place underwater. Using the metaphor of Jellyfish and beautiful lights, ‘Foreign Bodies’ looks at fear vs love: using medical understandings of disease and media references around migration to explore the experience of ‘other’ and to allow love to overcome racism. It is also an interactive anonymous quiz show developed with Gentlemen Octopus Limited that explores what it means to be a citizen of the world: taking samples of citizenship tests to create the ultimate quiz with a twist.

In an age where tools like the web connect and divide us, ‘Foreign Bodies’ crosses borders and oceans, illuminating the enormity of time to tell the stories of individuals and echo the bigger stories: ancestry, evolution and the haunting legacy of historical power structures.

Danced to Fado, Kizomba and Kuduro rhythms created by composer Sabio Janiak.

Our vision is a beautiful one hour piece of work that comments through the metaphor of the jellyfish... and we want to make an amazing photo for the poster shot... so we need a shoot in a pool to realise that! We have found an amazing photographer to work with, but that costs money! We need to hire a pool, lights, equipment, keep our dancers warm! We would love your help!

We have a beautiful team:

Elsabet Yonas: Elsabet Yonas is a movement artist, with a background in Hip Hop. Movement is her main tool of expression, but her passion lies in storytelling. As well as creating work for stage and film, she loves performing and teaching. She is currently working in her community as a ‘Tottenham UpLIFTer’ on a five-year project making art accessible to teenagers. Recent stage work includes ‘A/Free-Can’ (Zinnema Theatre, Brussels) and ‘What I Don’t Remember’ (Sadlers Wells, London).

Isaac Ouro Gnao: Isaac Ouro-Gnao is a multidisciplinary artist emerging from the Hip Hop Theatre world. London based, his curiosity has seen him develop skills in Hip Hop, dance theatre, film, acting, singing, and poetry for 10 years; scriptwriting, social media and digital marketing, and multimedia journalism for 3 years. This has led to many fruitful creative projects across many sectors. He continues to develop his artistic voice as a company dance artist, movement director and scriptwriter for Body Politic, and as a solo artist creating socio-political work The Oreo Complex – a deeply personal exploration of Black identity through the Oreo (Bounty/Coconut) label

David Evans: Born in Lower Hutt, New Zealand, David Evans studied breaking and salsa as a teenager in the U.S. He graduated with a Diploma in Dance from Trinity Laban in 2017 with distinction and was awarded the dance award and choreographer award. David has worked for Ella Mesma Company, Tate Britain (Late at Tate: Speculate Series), The Rambert Building for Vintage Rambert, and Rahel Vonmoos.

Franck Arnaud-Lusbec: Franck Arnaud Lusbec grew up between Paris and the French Caribbean island Martinique. He attended Rick Odums International Jazz Center where in trained in Ballet, Jazz and Modern. and was also part of a hip-hop company, Insolite Crew with whom he participated in events, music videos (I Got It by Diversidad) and contests such as “MTV Shake ton Booty” (2nd place in 2010, 1st place in 2011). He moved to New York where he joined the Certificate Program at Peridance Capezio Center in 2013. Franck stayed in New York working for INNOvartists and appeared in ABC’s Good Morning America as well as music videos. In 2015 he founded Free FAL’L Dance Company who have performed in France, Martinique and Guadeloupe.

Lucia Afonso: Lucia Afonso is a capoeirista and dancer and trained at CHOREIA in Paris. She is also trained in Break, Popping, Jazz Rock, Hip Hop, Hype and House and has competed and won numerous battles including Juste Debut and Micadanses. Performance experience includes an Afro- Hip Hop company A Part Être who toured France, Europe and South America with their show. She also performs for Jukebox, Orchidaceae Urban Tribal Fusion Belly Dance, Piny Orchidaceae and has performed in Grafitti artist Vhils recent work, DYPTIK, Filastine and more.

Milton Lopes: won the Best Actor Award with his first participation in a feature film, the award wining The Dauphin. He was born in Cape Verde Islands and grew up in Portugal where he worked as an actor in various TV Series, Theatre Shows and Feature Films. He recently played John "The Savage" in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World for BBC Radio 4. The four languages that he speaks allows him to work in the UK, Portugal, France, Brazil, Mexico and Angola. He made is debut appearance in a British film in Bonobo, the first feature film of the award winning director Matthew Hammett Knott. He works as well as circus aerialist, having performed in the Paralympic Opening Ceremonies. worked with Extraordinary Bodies (UK), Strange Fruit (Australia), Circo Crescer e Viver (Brazil), Fura Dels Baus ( Spain) and Graeae Theatre Company (UK). His singing voice got him the lead role Macheath in Bertolt Brecht's The Threepenny Opera, a co-production by Graeae, New Wolsey Theatre, Nottingham Playhouse, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Birmingham Rep. His physicality allowed him to be part of the cast of the immersive physical theatre show Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare, directed by Pia Furtado and produced by The Theory of Everything in Peckham Multistorey Carpark in London. He is part of the London cast of Exhibit B by Brett Bailey.

Quotes from our first R&D: 

“Artistically, scientifically and culturally significant… promises to be a powerful and dramatic work of richly layered relevancies.” Katy Noakes, OneDance UK

“Ella has situated (Foreign Bodies) at a fertile intersection of styles and approaches to dance that add up to more than the sum of their parts. The vocabulary shifts and unfolds throughout.” Dan Canham, Artistic Director, Stillhouse

“I was absolutely mesmerised” Heidi Samson, Youth Worker, Creative Youth Network

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