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In Conversation with Esie Mensah

Headshot of Esie Mensah
Photo by Mikka Gia Photography

zayo

Choreographed by Esie Mensah

Citadel Spring Mix
Programme 1
April 2, 4, 6, 7, 2024

Share a little about your dance background, and/or your creative process.

I am a choreographer, dancer, director and TedXSpeaker and all of who I am informs my work and my process. How I show up in the room and the care I center while I am creating is integral to who I am and who I am committed to becoming. I create with the movement language of Afrofusion which is an amalgamation of traditional and contemporary African with Latin, Modern, Caribbean and Urban styles of dance through a directorial lens. I center intention in my work so I’m constantly looking at the relationship of audience and art. I want to ensure my ideas are able to translate to those that view my work. 

What drew you to apply to the Citadel Spring Mix program?  

I was looking for an opportunity to present ZAYO as a new vision for the show started to take shape. This opportunity came up and I decided to throw my chance forward and knew if I got it, it would let me start to dive into my work and process in a new way. 

What are you most looking forward to during this process? 

I am most looking forward to working with my dancers. I have a talented group of artists who are equally as excited to pour into me as I am to pour into them. We have grown so much through our time together and I look forward to this opportunity to evolve as artists and people. I am coming into my own as a creator and it feels great, so I’m looking forward to seeing the continued evolution of this path for all of us. 

What excites you about Toronto’s dance scene? 

I think what excites me most about the Toronto dance scene is that I think we are ready for change. We have all navigated hardships in different ways so I’m looking forward to seeing how resilient everyone is becoming.

What is next for this work after Citadel Spring Mix? 

I will be choreographing on the third-year students at Toronto Metropolitan University from April 9-11, 2024.