What do you do after dancing with Rihanna and Drake? Choreographer Esie Mensah has had her fair share of commercial work, but that hasn’t stopped her from asking the tough questions and digging deeper into her artistic practice. Through her Afrofusion dance, she’s found a way to honour the weight of our ancestral past while producing ideas towards a radically different future.
My parents sacrificed a lot to come to Canada and I know that. You leave your whole entire family to be in a place where you’re by yourself. So it’s almost like my duty to say thank you to my parents and then also bring forward their legacy of what it is they’ve gifted me with in a new way. – Esie Mensah
This dance was a special moment. I had emailed Esie the song “Ingenue” by Bonjay for her to listen to, but she hadn’t been able to open it. So when she showed up in our studio and I played it to her for the first time, it was transformative. The dance that followed is what you’ll see in this video — and you can literally feel Esie’s ancestors inhabiting her entire body.