prejudice against a person based on the fairness,
or darkness of their skin colour
“"A tactical, almost sensual performance, shades conveys a desperation for community and intimacy through the unusual medium of dance. the performance is mesmerizing"”The Mike
Dora nominated production, 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. Shades, challenges the issues of discrimination by communities of color against themselves and examines a group mentality that has plagued countries for over four centuries.
We see countless examples of the great lengths people around the world have taken to permanently alter their skin tone in the quest for a distorted beauty ideal; but what message does this send to the next generation of young boys and girls and more importantly why is this happening? What has been imbedded into our collective psyche that created an environment for us to believe these significant changes were beneficial?
is forever evolving..
I’m sharing a unique seed to start a new set of conversation. The future of where this will all go is unknown but the Ancestors didn’t guide me this far to not see it through.
- Founder & Director, Esie Mensah