Slate World: Finale - Line-up

Melanie Abrahams, Slate World UK host
Melanie Abrahams is a curator, producer and mentor of Jamaican and Trinidadian parentage who has channelled a love of words and books into projects, businesses and escapades. As well as freelancing, she’s founder of independent organisations Renaissance One and Tilt, which make regular use of live events, tours and commissions to highlight the diverse canons of British and international literature and performance. Artists and organisations collaborated with include Miami Book Fair, Chris Ofili, The Space, Bocas Lit Fest (Trinidad) and the BBC. Her contribution has been recognised through a ‘Women To Watch’ Award, and curatorships and speaker commissions for Bluecoat, Carnival Village and Creative & Cultural Skills. Recent projects include Mentoring Three Ways, which offered industry panels, creativity talks and 50 one-to-one mentoring sessions to practitioners around England; and The Independence Project, which presented curated events on autonomy and independence, including a one-day festival at the British Library. 

She is the UK Enabler for Slate World. In 2019, Melanie curated of Black Arts World: Slate Weekender as part of the City of Ideas project led by Site Gallery and a number of Sheffield-based partners including Eclipse.

Ella Mesma, Slate World UK host
Ella is a British born dancer and artist of mixed heritage living in Leeds.

She trained at Laban/LSCD (where she now has an MA), but her first love was Salsa, and she began her dance career with Afro Latin & Brazilian styles (touring the UK and internationally with shows and workshops) and breaking (breakdance). She also studied yoga with Abby Hoffman and at the Karam Kriya School in 2018. Some highlights of her performance experience include touring internationally with the Russell Maliphant Company (The Rodin Project), performing for Lea Anderson (Trying it On: The Chomondeleys), the Olympics Opening Ceremony and the WCMT and AIDF awards which took her to Brazil, Cuba and South Africa.

As the Artistic Director of Ella Mesma Company, who use a diverse range of folkloric dancestyles, inspired by director Ella’s background in Afro-Latin, Breaking and Contemporary dance (termed diaspora dance theatre to communicate this meeting of styles) to allow transformation and activism through art: telling personal and global stories to connect to our truest selves. The company has been commissioned by Sadler’s Wells (Wild Card), Dance City (as Associate Dance Artist 2016-2017) and the National Circus Centre (Papyllon). She has had her work performed at The ICA Festival in South Africa (Papyllon) and at the Women in Dance Leadership Conference in New York (Ladylike). Ladylike was also second place for best production for the Lukas awards (Latin UK Awards) 2018.

As a choreographer, she has been a future Dance Leader (ABLE 2013); a Bench fellow (2015), a Casa Latin American Festival resident artist (2016); Associate Dance Artist (Dance City); and Associate artist at the Trinity Centre in Bristol. She is also the  the creator and curator of Roots of Rumba (a festival created in 2013 to showcase and celebrate artists who work with dances of the African Diaspora) that has toured the UK.

She has been passionately developing her Path For Series mentoring programme this year over at MayaGandaia.com She also enjoys social justice art, poetry, nature and languages.

Priscilla Macintosh, Slate World Amsterdam host
Priscilla Macintosh is the owner of Studio Macintosh. Priscilla is a creative specializing in project management, concept development and education for the art, events and education sectors. I have been combining art, education and events in my work for about nine years now. For artistic, educational and entertainment purposes. From curating exhibitions, programming a live music evening to giving workshops.

Perry Gits, Slate World Amsterdam host
Perry is part of the Slate World team based in the Netherlands. Perry is a dancer, singer, and theatre director. His focus in his work is based on political issues concerning the LQBTQIA+ community and race. This was seen in his previous work such as Je lult, Ka ki ka nee nee nee and Bokoe.

Perry is part of the first generation of the ballroom/vogue scene in the Netherlands and continues to make statements decolonising gender and colour. ZO! Gospel Choir has also been part of his career and they sung with artists such as Mariah Carey and Kamashi Washington.

Marv Radio, Vocalist and sound-therapist
Marv Radio is a ground-breaking musician, sonic scientist, beatboxer and uses the voice as a therapeutic tool. He has been hacking his own voice to use as a tool for music, art and therapy for over 18 years. Marv is known for his out-of-this-world live music and theatre shows where he combines beatboxing, live looping, singing and rap to make high energy motivational hip hop.

Performances include Glastonbury, First Direct’s Unexpected Tweet advert campaign, Bestival, Shambala, Lovebox, The O2, BBC Radio 4, Sadler’s Wells, Underbelly Southbank, The Barbican, The British Library, Camden People’s Theatre (4 star one-man-show Mantra). He is the co-founder and co-host of Hip-Hop Palace, which recently took Underbelly South Bank by storm.

He released his EP The Airwaves in November 2017. It can be streamed and downloaded from all good platforms.

Social Media: @MarvRadio

Ladies of Midnight Blue, Afro-latin percussion and brass duet
Ladies of Midnight Blue are an Afro-Latin percussion and brass duet comprised of Hannabiell Sanders (Bass Trombone, African & Latin Percussion and Composer) and Yilis del Carmen Suriel (African & Latin Percussion). They create a powerful and upbeat fusion of trance rhythms by weaving combinations of percussion, brass, vocal chants, and mbira. Hannabiell and Yilis have performed all over the world and in the last 10 years they have been cultural producers, workshop facilitators, and guest artists for various projects and residencies. Their art and music workshops focus on community building and raising awareness concerning issues of inequality on all levels. Ladies of Midnight Blue most recent performance at TEDx Newcastle



Yersin Rivas, Cuban Salsa instructor 
Yersin Guillen Rivas was born in Cienfuegos, Cuba into a family with strong afrocuban roots and was brought up with a passion for music.

As a member of the renowned Casa de la Cultura and Hotel Jagua shows, Yersin performed in theatres and stages across Cuba, and after arriving in the UK he quickly became a hit on the local and international salsa scene.

As one of the most sought-after instructors for Cuban Salsa – Yersin has taught and performed at many clubs, festivals and congresses including The Latin Splash Festival, Cuban Salsa Congresses (Wales, Swansea, London and Bournemouth), Festival Dias Cubanos (Holland), Afro Cuban Pati Weekender, Pontins Weekender, Salsa Feel The Heat Weekender, Teeside Festival, Mambo City Congress, Scottish Salsa Congress, Eagle Tours (Barcelona,Malaga and Majorca, Spain), Salsa Caramba (Sweden), Latin Angels (Toulouse, France), Dance-Cubana Lloyd, Havananights, SalsaJulia, Salsabrighton, Bar Salsa, Brighton Cuban Festival
Salseduce… and Chilli con Salsa Yersin also featured on a South American tour taking his talent to countries such as Chile, Venezuela, Ecuador and Brasil where he gave a series of workshops and master classes.