Esie Mensah Performs ZAYO At This Year's SummerWorks Festival

Esie Mensah Performs ZAYO At This Year's SummerWorks FestivalEsie Mensah is proud to present, ZAYO as part of the SummerWorks Lab programming. Performing on August 9, 11, and 13, ZAYO will be presented as a double bill with Third World by Diana Reyes at The Theatre Centre.

ZAYO is a memoir of dancer, choreographer and creative director Esie Mensah. This piece uses movement and dance to showcase the obstacles and challenges Esie has faced throughout her own artistic career. It is a piece that pays respect and gratitude towards her mentors who have helped guide her along her journey. The combined elements of Esie's drive and determination along with the encouragement of her mentors helped shape Esie into the person who she is today.

Along with being a memoir, ZAYO is also an ode to Africa with the exploration of Esie's Afrofusion movement in a new, fresh and contemporary way. In the show, a young man named, Ouhna arrives in the world of Nxi and has one directive: get to his destiny. Through a series of tests that will measure his mental, physical, and emotional strength, he must find what it takes to complete his quest, or the journey will consume him. Director and Choreographer Esie Mensah creates an ethereal future world with performers Kwasi Obeng, Lauren Lyn, Daniel Gomex, Amanda Videla, Shaiann Roach, and Benjamin Smalls in this bold new dance-theatre work about self-discovery, destiny, and personal strength.

"If you are attentive enough, God places signs on the horizon for you to see and those signs empower your intuition... if you choose to be attentive to them it can change your life. That's what happened when I chose to dance... it changed my life." - Esie Mensah

The spirit of ZAYO, which means future in Zulu, is an homage to honour her ancestors. It's to honour her guides from across the globe. A channel of strength, love and dedication for the people that need to hear it. A 15-minute Q&A period will take place after every performance to facilitate the important conversations that surround this piece.

Dates: Thursday August 9th 6:15pm-7:45pm

Saturday August 11th 10:30pm-12:00am

Monday August 13th 10:00pm-11:30pm

Location: Franco Boni Theatre, The Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 3T4

For tickets please click here

About Esie Mensah

Esie Mensah, dancer/choreographer/teacher/model, is the 2014 Black Canadian Award Winner for Best Contemporary Dancer and the 2015 recipient of the Cultural Promotion award from the Ghanian-Canadian Association. Esie has worked with some of the industry's biggest icons such as Rhianna, Drake, as well as Coca Cola, FIFA, and TIFF. Aside from her accolades, Esie is committed to bringing a new fresh genre of dance into the industry. Afrofusion is her own unique style of dance that includes movements from Traditional and Contemporary African, Commercial, Urban and Contemporary styles. Esie has produced several art pieces; Shades of Blackness, Zayo and an original dance/theatre production, Akoma that premiered in 2015.

About SummerWorks Performance Festival

SummerWorks is Ontario's premier festival of cutting-edge, exciting, professional theatre. SummerWorks is the breeding ground for the mainstage shows of the future and the hub for Toronto's most dynamic, dedicated theatre professionals. As the largest juried festival in Canada featuring predominantly New Canadian plays, SummerWorks looks to program a festival that uniquely reflects Toronto and Canada's cultural zeitgeist.

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