Presented by Joseph Toonga
A Hip-Hop Dance Theatre production that analyses representations of females of colour with an intersectional focus to show untold individual journeys.
Born to Exist forms Joseph 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.
This third iteration is a response to Joseph’s personal experience of being solely brought up by black women. His mum and Aunties brought him to the UK 25 years ago and he wants to bring their story of immigration to the forefront. It is a journey through the lens of Toonga, from a young boy to a man with his own family and how he appreciates the strong, resilient, self-contained, and self-sacrificing females that brought him up.
Joseph combines his story with the collected lived experiences of the female cast and international survey responses to inspire Black, Asian and ethnic minority females to be unapologetic and exist in their entirety.
Joseph’s signature choreographic style is once again used as a story telling tool to educate and provide the platform for ultimate activism.
“My job is to somehow make them curious enough and persuade them by nook 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.
Toonga’s choreography sits neatly alongside the cultural signifiers of black culture – Lorna Irvine, fjord review