A new Hip Hop dance work by Joseph Toonga
This Hip Hop Dance Theatre Production forms Toonga’s third part of his Nationally acclaimed Hip Hop Dance trilogy that invites change, and a sense of overcoming stigmas society holds towards ethnic minorities. Analysing representation with an intersectional focus to show untold, underrepresented, individual journeys.
Joseph combines his research with his own experiences and the cast to manifest what it means to be a human and show it in all its ugliness, beauty, contradictions and complexity.
Joseph’s choreographic style is used as a conduit for trauma, fed through a vacuum of movement and given to audiences.
This work brings together a powerhouse of creatives, lighting design by Simisola Majekodunmi, an original score from Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante and dramaturg Peggy Olislaegers and provides the platform for ultimate activism.
Alongside this theatre production Joseph is collaborating with three afro Brazilan female creatives to establish a social programme in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The progamme ‘Young, Gifted & Black’ works to support and empower low-income black female teenagers favela’s in Rio through dance.
“My job is to somehow make them curious enough and persuade them by hook or crook to get more aware of themselves, where they came from, what they are into and what is already there and to bring it out. This is what compels me to compel them and I will do it by what ever means necessary” Nina Simone, 1969
Commissioned by Theatre Boulevard, The Place & DanceEast, supported by Redbridge Drama Centre, South East Dance and the Arts Council England.
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Choreographer – Joseph Toonga
Creative Producer – Emily Crouch
Composer – Michael ‘Mikey J’Asante
Dramaturg – Peggy Olislaegers
Lighting Designer – Simisola Majekodunmi
Costume Designer – Jessica Xavier
Rehearsal Directors – Ricardo Da Silva & Stefano A Addae
Performers – Aisha Webber, Amanda de Souza, Paris Crossley
Assistant Producer – Nevena Stojkov
Leading image credit – Harrison Dante
Toonga’s choreography sits neatly alongside the cultural signifiers of black culture.
Lorna Irvine, Fjord Review
Toonga creates the kinds of art that put change into motion and empowers the next generation of dancers.
Katie Hagan, Dance Art Journal