Shades - Esie Mensah Creations


Esie Mensah Creations’ SHADES made its debut at the IPP showcase under Fall for Dance North festival at the Harbourfront Centre on October 3rd, 2019. SHADES re-examines the wound that is colourism – prejudice against a person based on the fairness, or darkness of their skin colour - and how it inflicts on the Black community, specifically undoing the stitches in Mensah’s and six other dancers’ personal lives. Set against choreography and text, SHADES breaks the code of silence, compelling the audience to face how such brutality, whether on a global scale with colonization, or an offhand remark from a loved one, permeates generations. 

The works of Esie Mensah Creations is rooted in both spirituality and artistry. To those who attended SHADES - we hope were moved and inspired to keep the discussion on the subject of shadeism going. To those who were unable to attend, we hope you get the chance to see the production in its future evolutions. Learn more about the work HERE.
As this showcase was free to the public, we are kindly asking for donations to support future productions by Esie Mensah creations, to allow for continued, high-quality work. Every effort is appreciated.

Dancer, Choreographer, Teacher, Model & Director

Esie Mensah is someone whose creative footprint – every performance, project, and partnership – embodies the accomplished, multifaceted artist that she is. As a dancer, choreographer, and movement director, Esie brings her mastery in storytelling to audiences as diverse as her experiences. She has worked with megastars including Rihanna, Drake and Arcade Fire, and brands such as Coca Cola, Luminato, TIFF, Shaw Festival and 98.1 CHFI to name a few.

For her own creative productions, Esie has committed to using Afrofusion to explore more personal narratives of her Ghanaian heritage, blackness, and belonging. She has created ZAYO and the Dora Award-nominated Shades; a work that uncovers the process of healing from shadeism in the Black community.

Recently Esie and her company, Black Stars Collective (a coalition of afro-influenced dancers committed to becoming nowadays leader group of AfroFusion Dance), were amongst the Canadian Contingency who performed at Panafest 2019, a Ghanaian festival that honours the mass tragedy of the transatlantic slave trade.

Most recently, Esie presented ZAYO at the Prismatic Arts Festival in Ottawa (September 2019), and Shades at Fall for Dance North Festival (October 2019).

Esie Mensah Creations shows no signs of slowing down. For Mensah, dance adds new ways to express awareness, pain, and healing.


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Esie Mensah 
Toronto, ON
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