Image Credit: The Other Richard
Born to Manifest
Joseph Toonga / Just Us Dance Theatre
Born to Manifest is a 60-minute Hip-Hop programme, commissioned by The Place, Redbridge Drama Centre and DanceEast where Joseph is an Associate Artist. The titular opening solo, performed by Joseph himself, sets a mental health agenda, exploring the stigmas and effects of depression and drawing on the real-life challenges faced by young British black men. The female trio Woman I Know forms the second part of the programme. Exploring the influence of feminine kindness and grace on the man’s world-view, reflecting women’s strength and resilience.
‘I feel a responsibility as a black male to empower the younger generation as a role model and example of how dance can provide a positive, successful route. Mental health and black men’s experiences of it, is little discussed, which is why I am passionate about creating awareness to shift stigmas’ – Joseph Toonga, 2018
During R&D for the solo, Joseph interviewed men affected by depression and who have female role models, gathering responses from over 300 people to use as inspiration and to include as voiceovers to create the score & spoken word.
Joseph will continue to develop his distinct physicality, experimenting with popping, krump & breakdance, blended with high intensity movements from kick boxing, creating intricate, compact duets & solos with visceral physicality.
Company Class | Thursday 27 June | 10.00 – 11.30
Joseph's classes explore the fundamentals of popping, krump and freestyle within a contemporary dance context, whilst looking at tension in the body, parts of the body in isolation, and intention behind movement. The class is high energy and physically demanding and participants will also learn repertoire as part of the session.
Company Showing | Friday 28 June | 17.00
Supported by DanceEast, The Place & Redbridge Drama Centre and developed with Dance Base & B.Motion and Arts Council England funding.