Ella Spira is a Grammy nominated composer and co-director of the London based production company, Sisters Grimm, the company behind the critically acclaimed, sell-out success INALA. Spira, the daughter of two artists from Gloucestershire and the eldest of six, learned piano, studied conducting, has worked in radio and was mentored by James Bond composer David Arnold.
Her production company, Sisters Grimm, formed with former Royal Ballet dancer Pietra Mello-Pittman, creates large scale theatrical dance musicals, high-end videos and animations. Their previous theatrical spectacular, INALA - a Zulu ballet, premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2014, opening at the largest theatre in Europe, The Edinburgh Playhouse, before moving on to London's prestigious Sadler's Wells Theatre for a week to a sell-out audience. The show continued its success during a major tour of some of the major concert halls around the UK which culminated in an invitation to perform an excerpt at the 2014 Royal Variety Performance, in the presence of Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Sisters Grimm then took the show international as it was programmed as part of the Chekhov International Festival 2015 in Moscow, Russia before returning for another successful UK tour as a co-production with ATG, the world’s largest theatre owning company, including back to the Sadler's Wells Theatre in London due to its success and phenomenal demand. In 2016, the music from INALA, composed by Ella Spira, was nominated for the Grammy Best World Music Album. Also in 2016, INALA was nominated for a Manchester Theatre Award for the Special Entertainment category.
The overwhelming success of this first major dance production from Sisters Grimm has also led to the founders of Sisters Grimm, Ella Spira and Pietra Mello-Pittman, being nominated for the 2015 Women of the Future Awards in the Arts & Culture Category.
Sisters Grimm has worked with major UK broadcasters including BBC, Channel 4 and ITV and have worked on campaigns such as, working in Los Angeles, United States of America on commercial ad campaigns and the UNICEF New Year’s Eve Campaign, broadcast over Christmas on Channel 4 and at London’s South Bank celebrations.
Sisters Grimm is a client of United Kingdom Trade and Industry (“UKTI”) and are proud to be part of the GREAT Campaign representing Creativity in the United Kingdom. In 2015, UKTI asked Sisters Grimm to provide bespoke entertainment content for the GREAT reception at Lancaster House this year.
Sisters Grimm is currently in production with the next major international theatrical production: Voices of the Amazon, A rainforest dance musical from the heart of Brazil, premiering in 2017 touring to Moscow, London, Singapore and UK.
Ballet and dance
- Inala: Co-composer with Joseph Shabalala; Sisters Grimm production with Rambert Dance Company, The Royal Ballet and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Music recorded at Abbey Road Studios
- Rapunzel – The Final Chapter (2009). Sisters Grimm ballet film; co-production with the Royal Opera House/The Royal Ballet. Music recorded at Air Lyndhurst Studios
- Reves au Chemin (2008). Created for The Royal Ballet’s Draft Works performances at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London. Music recorded at Abbey Road Studios
- Jasmine (2011). A London short film. Screened at the 2011 BFI Film Festival
- Uncut (2009). Uncut is the first British feature film shot in one take and was screened at BAFTA. Music recorded at Dean Street Studios
- The Fixer (2008). Co-composer with Bradley Kohn for the ITV drama series The Fixer. Music recorded at Home Farm Studios, Hertfordshire
In 2010 Ella began an association with Steve Smart and West Funk and worked as arranger on club remixes for the following Top 20 UK hits:
- Bruno Mars, "Just the way you are"
- Nelly, "Just a Dream"
- Jay Sean ft Nicki Minaj "2012"
- Alesha Dixon ft Jay Sean "Every Little Part of Me"
- McFly, "Shine a Light"