Born to Protest
Joseph Toonga / Just Us Dance Theatre
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Joseph Toonga works at the forefront of Hip Hop in the UK and internationally. He describes himself as being in a continual search for an authentic reason to choreograph, and frequently draws on real life stories which make his work resonate with people under-represented in audiences for mainstream arts.
Born to Protest is Joseph’s first outdoor work for his company Just Us Dance Theatre. It is part of a Hip Hop dance theatre trilogy he is creating to highlight black excellence and challenge racial stigma.
Born to Protest aims to dismantle presumptions about the black male and female figure based on intimidation, danger and isolation, revealing instead character traits around fragility, vulnerability and a constant battle to prove oneself. This hypersensitivity of the black body in space is magnified by Born to Protest’s cast of seven performing en masse to a soundscape which sets up an intense energy with Hip Hop beats and voice over.
Choreographer – Joseph Toonga
Rehearsal Director – Ricardo Da Silva
Producer – Emily Crouch
Composer – Michael ‘Mikey J’Asante
Performers – D’jon McTernan, Malachi Lewis, Kyron Anthony, Dilyon Graham, Dani Harris-Walters, Duja Sinada
Born to Protest is a Stomping Ground commission which is an initiative of The Place, DanceEast, DanceXchange and Greenwich & Docklands International Festival. The work is also supported by Redbridge Drama Centre and the Arts Council England.