TESSEL is a Canadian-made short film telling the story of 14 Black dancemakers from across the country. Premiering around the world on June 1st – one the first anniversary of Blackout Tuesday – this film depicts a crucial conversation of what it means to be a Black artist in 2021.
The film TESSEL was created and directed by Esie Mensah, the Dora-nominated choreographer and Canadian dancer. Her resume includes work with Drake, French Montana and Janelle Monae, and that’s just to name a few. In her Tedx Toronto Talk, she describes her experience being in auditions as a person with a darker skin tone. Throughout this past year, she’s felt the urgency to amplify Black voices in her community, to help bring about meaningful conversation, and change.
TESSEL, the Film
TESSEL provides a platform for these 14 Black creators to share their stories and experiences, and faced some of the hard truths that have been a reality for their entire lives. Throughout this journey, the Canadian film explores many themes and emotions including rage, exhaustion, self-care, and futurism. The short film aims to celebrate victories with their community, coming together from across the country to unify, and eventually heal.