‘You say I’m a black guy. I know who I am, do you know who I am?’
Born to Manifest is a powerful new hip hop dance double bill that illuminates the experience of young black British men. Joseph Toonga draws from real life accounts to a create a poignant, responsive piece that simultaneously champions cultural identity and challenges racial stigmas. Set to an original score from Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante, this dynamic new dance work explores the themes of mental health and the power and privilege that still oppress and dictate. Joseph delivers stark home truths through the complexity and beauty of an individual’s journey.
‘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.
Joseph is another of our Associate Artists who we’ve been working with for a very long time now, since 2015. We have loved watching Joseph progress over the years and seeing him become, not only a successful and inspirational dance artist, but a great role model for young aspiring dancers. In 2016, Joseph co-founded Artists 4 Artists with Emily Crouch and Lee Griffiths – the UK’s first artist led initiative working to raise the visibility of the hip hop sector through artist development, producer support and wider industry conversations. Joseph is at the forefront of change within dance and by bringing together different dance forms he creates work that you’ll be able to relate to.