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PRESS RELEASE: Jospeh Toonga new work Born To Exist to tour the UK 2022 and 2023


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PRESS RELEASE
24 May 2022

 

 

  • JOSEPH TOONGA CREATES NEW WORK BORN TO EXIST: the woman I know TO TOUR THE UK,THIS AUTUMN
     
  • BORN TO EXIST STARTS ITS TOUR IN THE NETHERLANDS AND CLOSES OUT 2022 IN BRAZIL

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Hip Hop Dance Theatre Production Born to Exist forms the third part of Joseph Toonga’s nationally acclaimed trilogy  which includes Born to Manifest and Born to Protest. Joseph’s work seeks to change and oversome stigmas that society holds towards ethnic minorities by analysing representation, with an intersectional focus, to show untold, underrepresented, individual stories.

 

Joseph combines his research with his own experiences, and those of the cast, to manifest what it means to be a human with all its ugliness, beauty, contradictions and complexity. Joseph’s process uses his choreographic style as a conduit for trauma, which enters a through a vacuum to become movement that is shared with audiences.

 

As with the previous two works in the trilogy, this work brings together a powerhouse of creatives with lighting design by Simisola Majekodunmi, an original score from Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante and dramaturgy by Peggy Olislaegers.

 

Born to Manifest and Born to Protest have toured the UK and internationally to critical acclaim. 

 

Alongside this theatre production Joseph is supporting and collaborating with three black Brazilian female creatives, Clau Mayã, Emmanuele Uereaua and Fernanda Campos, to establish a social programme in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The programme called Young, Gifted & Black’ is supported by Just Us Dance Theatre (of which Joseph is Artistic Director) and works to support and empower low-income black female teenagers from the favelas in Rio.

 

Originally from Cameroon, Joseph Toonga was raised in East London. He is currently Emerging Choreographer In Residence with The Royal Ballet. Born to Protest and Born To Manifest were performed at the Linbury in April this year and in November the premiere of a new work will feature on the main stage as part of the Royal Ballet’s Diamond Celebration alongside new works by Pam Tanowitz, Valentino Zucchetti and CHristopher Wheeldon.

 

Alongside extensive teaching and independent commissions, Joseph runs his dance company ‘Just Us Dance Theatre’, a collective founded 2007 where he has established an international Artist Development Programme in Brazil and the UK’s first annual Hip Hop Apprenticeship initiative. He is also co-founder of artist-led hip-hop initiative ‘Artists4Artists’. 

 

Born to Exist is co-produced with Theatre Boulevard, commissioned by The Place & DanceEast, supported by Just Us Dance Theatre, Redbridge Drama Centre, South East Dance and the Arts Council England.  

 

Listings Information

 

Born to Exist
Choreographer Joseph Toonga
Producer - Emily Crouch

Dramaturg Peggy Olisaegers
Music Mikey J Asante
Lighting Simisola Majekodunmi

Performed by: Aisha Webber, Amanda de Souza, Paris Crossley

 

WEBSITE

 

Tour Schedule 2022

International premiere at Theatre Boulevard, Netherlands 4, 5, 6  August 

Taliesin Arts Centre, UK preview - 22 September 

Oxford Playhouse, UK premiere on 4 October 

Worthing Theatre, 5 October 

Norwich Playhouse 10 October 

Lowry, Salford 14 October 

Riley Theatre, Leeds 22 October 

Edge Hill University 27 October 

Aberystwyth Arts centre 15 November 

DanceEast 26 November 

Just Us Dance Theatre Hip Hop Festival, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 3 December 

 

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

 

BIOGS

 

Joseph Toonga – Choreographer

Joseph Toonga originates from Cameroon and was raised in East London. Joseph makes and performs dance productions relevant to the here and now which are embedded in Hip Hop and inspired by real life stories. His craftsmanship and signature choreographic style challenges conventions commonly used in Hip Hop dance and shifts audience perceptions by addressing racial stigmas and societal stereotypes. Joseph has recently been appointed Emerging Choreographer with The Royal Ballet and in Autumn 2021 was Movement Director for Fair Play, A Bush Theatre Direction by Ella Road. Other commissions and achievements to date include: English National Ballet School; Secret Cinema collaboration for premier of French film Les Miserables; Boston Conservatoire of Dance; National Youth Ballet/ Bundesjugendballett; Richard Alston Dance Company  

 

Alongside extensive teaching and independent commissions, Joseph runs his dance company ‘Just Us Dance Theatre’, a collective founded 2007 where he has established an international Artis Development Programme in Brazil and the UK’s first annually running Hip Hop Apprenticeship company. He is also co-founder of artist-led hip-hop initiative ‘Artists4Artists’.

 

Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante MBE

 

As co-founder and co-artistic director of hip-hop dance theatre company Boy Blue, Asante is credited with the direction and composition of REDDOutliers, Blak Whyte Gray, The Five & the Prophecy of Prana, Touch, Legacy, Pied Piper: A Hip-Hop Dance Revolution and the film R.E.B.E.L.

 

As a music producer, Asante has created music for films Street Dance 3D and All Stars and enjoyed session work and production for artists including Delilah, Raleigh Ritchie, Estelle and George The Poet. Asante worked in engineering and production on Kano’s critically acclaimed album Made In The Manor (winner of the MOBO Best Album Award) with whom Asante has collaborated extensively on the albums Home Sweet HomeLondon Town and 140 Grime Street. Recent work includes composition for Tree at Manchester International Festival and a collaboration with Brian Eno on Netflix’s Top Boy.

Outside of the studio, Asante mentors and delivers master classes in directing, choreography and music and is Professor of Electronic Music at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he was awarded an honorary fellowship (HonFGS) in 2018.

 

Peggy Olislaegers

 

Peggy Olislaegers (1966) is one of the leading independent dance dramaturges in Europe, providing artistic and strategic advice for both choreographers and institutes in the performing arts. She became an established adviser during her directorship of the Dutch Dance Festival (2010-2016), developing innovative European projects like Act Your Age, Performing Gender and Pivot Dance, and she has advised choreographers and institutes in the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, France, Belgium, Taiwan and the Netherlands. From 2015 to 2019 Peggy Olislaegers has been Artistic Associate of Rambert, Britain’s national dance company. Since 2019 she is Associate on Research and Development of Dutch National Ballet.

Working in the field of ballet, contemporary dance and hiphop, Peggy Olislaegers is known for her ability to connect disciplines, and her articulate knowledge of dance and movement.

 

 

Simisola Majekodunmi – Lighting Designer

 

Simisola graduated from RADA with a specialist degree in Lighting Design.

 

Her work in theatre includes: Starcrossed (Wilton’s Music Hall); Electric Rosary (Royal Exchange Theatre); Traplord (180 Studios); Jungle Rumble (Fortune Theatre); Human Nurture (Sheffield Theatres); The Wiz (Hope Mill Theatre); Is God Is (Royal Court Theatre); J’ouvert (Theatre 503 & Harold Pinter Theatre); Lucid, Tiger under the skin (New Public Company); Driving Miss Daisy (York Theatre Royal); Invisible Harmony (Southbank Centre); Just Another Day and Night (The Place Theatre); Living Newspaper Edition (Royal Court Theatre). Her work as an Associate includes: The Shark is Broken (Ambassador’s Theatre); Carousel (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); Shoe Lady (Royal Court Theatre); 15 Heroines (Jermyn Street Theatre); Herding Cats (Soho Theatre).

 

 

Aisha Webber – Performer

 

Aisha was born and raised in Nottingham and is of Jamaican Heritage. Growing up she would always play Reggae, Dancehall and Hip hop in her parents household and seeing the social grooves in the music videos inspired her to learn them and also educate herself about the culture behind them. She joined NuProjeks where she found her love for Poppin and later joined JME Dance Company, Xzibit Young Creatives & Bridgang’s training programme. In 2021 she was part of the first cohort for Just Us Dance Theatre’s Hip Hop apprenticeship company and following this joined Joseph’s cast for his outdoor show Born to Protest. Amongst this, Aisha has also performed at Breakin’ Convention, the Birmingham Commonwealth handover ceremony and with Kloe Dean, Myself UK Dance company.

 

Paris Crossley – Performer

 

Paris is a movement artist specialising in Popping and is also a member of Fiya House crew. She is primarily based in performance but also endeavours choreographic direction and production. Her work is thought provoking and often created with contextual emphasis on current world happenings and personal lived experiences. Her versatility allows her to shift between artistic realms of theatre, commercial and site specific work; she enjoys variety and champions contrasting perspective.

 

 

Amanda de Scouza – Performer

Amanda is a performer and teacher from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She has built a commercial career in dance and known for her versatility in performance styles.

 

Some of her credits include FIFA21, NICIRCO Marcos Frota &Hello Mundo tour.

 

Amanda connected with Joseph in 2021 during his artist development week New and Notble for which she performed at the centro coreográfico rio de janeiro.

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  • 2 months later...

Reminder press release (including new dates added):

 

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PRESS RELEASE

10 August 2022

 

WEBSITE HERE

 

  • NOTTINGHAM, ABERDEEN AND LONDON DATES ADDED TO UK TOUR OF JOSEPH TOONGA’S NEW WORK BORN TO EXIST: the woman I know THIS AUTUMN
  • BORN TO EXIST TELLS THE STORY OF TOONGA BEING RAISED BY HIS MUM AND AUNTIES WHO MOVED TO THE UK FROM CAMEROON

 

MjAyMl8wOF8wNF9CTFZSRF9Ub29uZ2FfS2FyaW5Kb25rZXJzMDQyLmpwZw==MjAyMl8wOF8wNF9CTFZSRF9Ub29uZ2FfS2FyaW5Kb25rZXJzMDI1LmpwZw==

 

 

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 the third part of Joseph Toonga’s nationally acclaimed Hip-Hop Dance trilogy. It 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 from being a young boy to becoming a man, and shows his appreciation of the strong, resilient, and self-sacrificing females who brought him up, as well as the collective lived experiences of the female cast.

 

As with the previous two works in the trilogy, Born To Exist  brings together a powerhouse of creatives with lighting design by Simisola Majekodunmi, an original score from Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante and dramaturgy by Peggy Olislaegers. Born to Manifest and Born to Protest have toured the UK and internationally to critical acclaim. 

 

Alongside this theatre production Joseph is supporting and collaborating with three black Brazilian female creatives, Clau Mayã, Emmanuele Uereaua and Fernanda Campos, to establish a social programme in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The programme called Young, Gifted & Black’ is supported by Just Us Dance Theatre (of which Joseph is Artistic Director) and works to support and empower low-income black female teenagers from the favelas in Rio.

 

Originally from Cameroon, Joseph Toonga was raised in East London. He is currently Emerging Choreographer In Residence with The Royal Ballet. Born to Protest and Born To Manifest were performed at the Linbury in April this year and in November the premiere of a new work will feature on the main stage as part of the Royal Ballet’s Diamond Celebration alongside new works by Pam Tanowitz, Valentino Zucchetti and CHristopher Wheeldon.

 

As well as extensive teaching and independent commissions, Joseph runs his dance company ‘Just Us Dance Theatre’, a collective founded 2007 where he has established an international Artist Development Programme in Brazil and the UK’s first annual Hip Hop Apprenticeship initiative. He is also co-founder of artist-led hip-hop initiative ‘Artists4Artists’. 

 

Born to Exist is co-produced with Theatre Boulevard, commissioned by The Place & DanceEast, supported by Just Us Dance Theatre, Redbridge Drama Centre, South East Dance and the Arts Council England.

 

Listings Information

 

Born to Exist

Creative team

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

 

WEBSITE

 

Tour Schedule 2022

International premiere at Theatre Boulevard, Netherlands 4, 5, 6  August 

Taliesin Arts Centre, UK preview - 22 September 

Oxford Playhouse, UK premiere on 4 October 

Worthing Theatre, 5 October 

Norwich Playhouse 10 October 

Lowry, Salford 14 October 

NEW Lakeside Arts, Nottingham 18 October

NEW City Moves, Aberdeen 20 October

NEW The Place, London 25 & 26 October

Edge Hill University 27 October 

Aberystwyth Arts centre 15 November 

DanceEast 26 November 

Just Us Dance Theatre Hip Hop Festival, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 3 December 

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

 

BIOS

 

Joseph Toonga – Choreographer

Joseph Toonga originates from Cameroon and was raised in East London. Joseph makes and performs dance productions relevant to the here and now which are embedded in Hip Hop and inspired by real life stories. His craftsmanship and signature choreographic style challenges conventions commonly used in Hip Hop dance and shifts audience perceptions by addressing racial stigmas and societal stereotypes. Joseph has recently been appointed Emerging Choreographer with The Royal Ballet and in Autumn 2021 was Movement Director for Fair Play, A Bush Theatre Direction by Ella Road. Other commissions and achievements to date include: English National Ballet School; Secret Cinema collaboration for premier of French film Les Miserables; Boston Conservatoire of Dance; National Youth Ballet/ Bundesjugendballett; Richard Alston Dance Company.

 

Alongside extensive teaching and independent commissions, Joseph runs his dance company ‘Just Us Dance Theatre’, a collective founded 2007 where he has established an international Artis Development Programme in Brazil and the UK’s first annually running Hip Hop Apprenticeship company. He is also co-founder of artist-led hip-hop initiative ‘Artists4Artists’.

 

Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante MBE

As co-founder and co-artistic director of hip-hop dance theatre company Boy Blue, Asante is credited with the direction and composition of REDDOutliers, Blak Whyte Gray, The Five & the Prophecy of Prana, Touch, Legacy, Pied Piper: A Hip-Hop Dance Revolution and the film R.E.B.E.L.

 

As a music producer, Asante has created music for films Street Dance 3D and All Stars and enjoyed session work and production for artists including Delilah, Raleigh Ritchie, Estelle and George The Poet. Asante worked in engineering and production on Kano’s critically acclaimed album Made In The Manor (winner of the MOBO Best Album Award) with whom Asante has collaborated extensively on the albums Home Sweet HomeLondon Town and 140 Grime Street. Recent work includes composition for Tree at Manchester International Festival and a collaboration with Brian Eno on Netflix’s Top Boy.

Outside of the studio, Asante mentors and delivers master classes in directing, choreography and music and is Professor of Electronic Music at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he was awarded an honorary fellowship (HonFGS) in 2018.

 

Peggy Olislaegers

Peggy Olislaegers (1966) is one of the leading independent dance dramaturges in Europe, providing artistic and strategic advice for both choreographers and institutes in the performing arts. She became an established adviser during her directorship of the Dutch Dance Festival (2010-2016), developing innovative European projects like Act Your Age, Performing Gender and Pivot Dance, and she has advised choreographers and institutes in the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, France, Belgium, Taiwan and the Netherlands. From 2015 to 2019 Peggy Olislaegers has been Artistic Associate of Rambert, Britain’s national dance company. Since 2019 she is Associate on Research and Development of Dutch National Ballet.

Working in the field of ballet, contemporary dance and hiphop, Peggy Olislaegers is known for her ability to connect disciplines, and her articulate knowledge of dance and movement.

 

Simisola Majekodunmi – Lighting Designer

Simisola graduated from RADA with a specialist degree in Lighting Design.

 

Her work in theatre includes: Starcrossed (Wilton’s Music Hall); Electric Rosary (Royal Exchange Theatre); Traplord (180 Studios); Jungle Rumble (Fortune Theatre); Human Nurture (Sheffield Theatres); The Wiz (Hope Mill Theatre); Is God Is (Royal Court Theatre); J’ouvert (Theatre 503 & Harold Pinter Theatre); Lucid, Tiger under the skin (New Public Company); Driving Miss Daisy (York Theatre Royal); Invisible Harmony (Southbank Centre); Just Another Day and Night (The Place Theatre); Living Newspaper Edition (Royal Court Theatre). Her work as an Associate includes: The Shark is Broken (Ambassador’s Theatre); Carousel (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); Shoe Lady (Royal Court Theatre); 15 Heroines (Jermyn Street Theatre); Herding Cats (Soho Theatre).

 

Aisha Webber – Performer
Aisha was born and raised in Nottingham and is of Jamaican Heritage. Growing up she would always play Reggae, Dancehall and Hip hop in her parents household and seeing the social grooves in the music videos inspired her to learn them and also educate herself about the culture behind them. She joined NuProjeks where she found her love for Poppin and later joined JME Dance Company, Xzibit Young Creatives & Bridgang’s training programme. In 2021 she was part of the first cohort for Just Us Dance Theatre’s Hip Hop apprenticeship company and following this joined Joseph’s cast for his outdoor show Born to Protest. Amongst this, Aisha has also performed at Breakin’ Convention, the Birmingham Commonwealth handover ceremony and with Kloe Dean, Myself UK Dance company.

 

Paris Crossley – Performer

Paris is a movement artist specialising in Popping and is also a member of Fiya House crew. She is primarily based in performance but also endeavours choreographic direction and production. Her work is thought provoking and often created with contextual emphasis on current world happenings and personal lived experiences. Her versatility allows her to shift between artistic realms of theatre, commercial and site specific work; she enjoys variety and champions contrasting perspective.

 

Amanda de Scouza – Performer

Amanda is a performer and teacher from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She has built a commercial career in dance and known for her versatility in performance styles.

 

Some of her credits include FIFA21, NICIRCO Marcos Frota &Hello Mundo tour.

 

Amanda connected with Joseph in 2021 during his artist development week New and Notble for which she performed at the centro coreográfico rio de janeiro.
 

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A reminder about Joseph Tong's up coming tour "Born To Exist":

 

2022_08_04_BLVRD_Toonga_KarinJonkers009.thumb.jpg.1187350b420405d46815aa1af2ccf2f7.jpg

 

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 the third part of Joseph Toonga’s nationally acclaimed Hip-Hop Dance trilogy. It is a response to Joseph’s personal experience of being solely brought up by black women.

 

2022_08_04_BLVRD_Toonga_KarinJonkers025.thumb.jpg.bf502adbd2352de89eb161bb029b88d9.jpg

 

As with the previous two works in the trilogy, Born To Exist  brings together a powerhouse of creatives with lighting design by Simisola Majekodunmi, an original score from Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante and dramaturgy by Peggy Olislaegers. Born to Manifest and Born to Protest have toured the UK and internationally to critical acclaim. 

 

2022_08_04_BLVRD_Toonga_KarinJonkers039.thumb.jpg.f3fd693ce2932e53f6eea3af947fdd97.jpg

 

Alongside this theatre production Joseph is supporting and collaborating with three black Brazilian female creatives, Clau Mayã, Emmanuele Uereaua and Fernanda Campos, to establish a social programme in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The programme called Young, Gifted & Black’ is supported by Just Us Dance Theatre (of which Joseph is Artistic Director) and works to support and empower low-income black female teenagers from the favelas in Rio. Joseph Toonga is also the first black Emerging Choreographer In Residence at The Royal Ballet. 

 

2022_08_04_BLVRD_Toonga_KarinJonkers047.thumb.jpg.3c7d7e531d5bd40e9ae440c233cd7e63.jpg 

 

Tour Schedule 2022

Oxford Playhouse, UK premiere on 4 October 

Worthing Theatre, 5 October 

Norwich Playhouse 10 October 

Lowry, Salford 14 October 

Lakeside Arts, Nottingham 18 October

City Moves, Aberdeen 20 October

The Place, London 25 & 26 October

Edge Hill University 27 October 

Aberystwyth Arts centre 15 November 

DanceEast 26 November 

Just Us Dance Theatre Hip Hop Festival, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 3 December

 

2022_08_04_BLVRD_Toonga_KarinJonkers051.thumb.jpg.99d0ed3853ba5bcbb52f7111124918a6.jpg

 

2022_08_04_BLVRD_Toonga_KarinJonkers054.thumb.jpg.bd5f0204bf52ff56c321cadddd13456c.jpg

 

2022_08_04_BLVRD_Toonga_KarinJonkers061.thumb.jpg.74845c1fd496e9a694858314ad5a4ce7.jpg

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  • Jan McNulty changed the title to PRESS RELEASE: Jospeh Toonga new work Born To Exist to tour the UK 2022 and 2023

2023 dates have been announced:

 

PRESS RELEASE

21 November 2022

 

JOSEPH TOONGA’S NEW WORK BORN TO EXIST: the woman I know CONTINUES ITS UK TOUR WITH 9 MORE UK DATES FOR 2023

 

MjAyMl8wOF8wNF9CTFZSRF9Ub29uZ2FfS2FyaW5Kb25rZXJzMDI1LmpwZw==MjAyMl8wOF8wNF9CTFZSRF9Ub29uZ2FfS2FyaW5Kb25rZXJzMDQyLmpwZw==

 

 

A Hip-Hop Dance Theatre production that analyses representations of females of colour with an intersectional focus to show untold individual journeys, Born to Existforms the third part of Joseph Toonga’s nationally acclaimed Hip-Hop Dance trilogy. It 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 from being a young boy to becoming a man, and shows his appreciation of the strong, resilient, and self-sacrificing females who brought him up, as well as the collective lived experiences of the female cast.

 

The 2022 tour concludes on 26 November at Dance East, then Born to Exist will continue touring from 11 Feb - 25 March to 10 different venues across the UK. 

 

As with the previous two works in the trilogy, Born To Exist  brings together a powerhouse of creatives with lighting design by Simisola Majekodunmi, an original score from Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante and dramaturgy by Peggy Olislaegers. Born to Manifest and Born to Protest have toured the UK and internationally to critical acclaim. 

 

Originally from Cameroon, Joseph Toonga was raised in East London. He is currently Emerging Choreographer In Residence with The Royal Ballet. Born to Protest and Born To Manifest were performed at the Linbury in April this year and last week the premiere of a new work SEE US! featured on the main stage as part of the Royal Ballet’s Diamond Celebration alongside new works by Pam Tanowitz, Valentino Zucchetti and CHristopher Wheeldon.

 

As well as extensive teaching and independent commissions, Joseph runs his dance company ‘Just Us Dance Theatre’, a collective founded 2007 which was recently awarded NPO status, securing funding for the next 3 years. Joseph has established an international Artist Development Programme in Brazil and the UK’s first annual Hip Hop Apprenticeship initiative. He is also co-founder of artist-led hip-hop initiative ‘Artists4Artists’. 

 

Born to Exist is co-produced with Theatre Boulevard, commissioned by The Place & DanceEast, supported by Just Us Dance Theatre, Redbridge Drama Centre, South East Dance and the Arts Council England.

 

Listings Information

 

Born to Exist

Creative team

Choreographer – Joseph Toonga

Creative Producer – Emily Crouch

Composer – Michael ‘Mikey J’Asante

Dramaturg – Peggy Olislaegers

Lighting Designer – Simisola Majekodunmi

Touring technician - Aisha Kent

Costume Designer – Jessica Xavier

Rehearsal Directors – Ricardo Da Silva, Stefano A Addae, Nicole Green

Performers – Aisha Webber, Amanda de Souza, Paris Crossley

Leading image credit – Harrison Dante

 

WEBSITE

 

Born to Exist: The woman I know - tour dates 2023

 

Riley Theatre, Leeds Sat 11 February

Minerva Studio, Chichester Fri 24 February 

Lancaster Arts Wed 1  March

The Barbican, Plymouth Fri 3 March

Pavilion Dance South West Sat 4 March

Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House Wed 8 March

Cornerstone, Didcot Sat 11 March

Walsall Arena Thur 23 March

Gulbenkian Theatre, Canterbury Sat 25 March

 

 

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

 

BIOS

 

Joseph Toonga – Choreographer

Joseph Toonga originates from Cameroon and was raised in East London. Joseph makes and performs dance productions relevant to the here and now which are embedded in Hip Hop and inspired by real life stories. His craftsmanship and signature choreographic style challenges conventions commonly used in Hip Hop dance and shifts audience perceptions by addressing racial stigmas and societal stereotypes. Joseph has recently been appointed Emerging Choreographer with The Royal Ballet and in Autumn 2021 was Movement Director for Fair Play, A Bush Theatre Direction by Ella Road. Other commissions and achievements to date include: English National Ballet School; Secret Cinema collaboration for premier of French film Les Miserables; Boston Conservatoire of Dance; National Youth Ballet/ Bundesjugendballett; Richard Alston Dance Company  

 

Alongside extensive teaching and independent commissions, Joseph runs his dance company ‘Just Us Dance Theatre’, a collective founded 2007 where he has established an international Artis Development Programme in Brazil and the UK’s first annually running Hip Hop Apprenticeship company. He is also co-founder of artist-led hip-hop initiative ‘Artists4Artists’.

 

Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante MBE

As co-founder and co-artistic director of hip-hop dance theatre company Boy Blue, Asante is credited with the direction and composition of REDDOutliers, Blak Whyte Gray, The Five & the Prophecy of Prana, Touch, Legacy, Pied Piper: A Hip-Hop Dance Revolution and the film R.E.B.E.L.

 

As a music producer, Asante has created music for films Street Dance 3D and All Stars and enjoyed session work and production for artists including Delilah, Raleigh Ritchie, Estelle and George The Poet. Asante worked in engineering and production on Kano’s critically acclaimed album Made In The Manor (winner of the MOBO Best Album Award) with whom Asante has collaborated extensively on the albums Home Sweet HomeLondon Town and 140 Grime Street. Recent work includes composition for Tree at Manchester International Festival and a collaboration with Brian Eno on Netflix’s Top Boy.

Outside of the studio, Asante mentors and delivers master classes in directing, choreography and music and is Professor of Electronic Music at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he was awarded an honorary fellowship (HonFGS) in 2018.

 

Peggy Olislaegers

Peggy Olislaegers (1966) is one of the leading independent dance dramaturges in Europe, providing artistic and strategic advice for both choreographers and institutes in the performing arts. She became an established adviser during her directorship of the Dutch Dance Festival (2010-2016), developing innovative European projects like Act Your Age, Performing Gender and Pivot Dance, and she has advised choreographers and institutes in the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, France, Belgium, Taiwan and the Netherlands. From 2015 to 2019 Peggy Olislaegers has been Artistic Associate of Rambert, Britain’s national dance company. Since 2019 she is Associate on Research and Development of Dutch National Ballet.

Working in the field of ballet, contemporary dance and hiphop, Peggy Olislaegers is known for her ability to connect disciplines, and her articulate knowledge of dance and movement.

 

 

Simisola Majekodunmi – Lighting Designer

Simisola graduated from RADA with a specialist degree in Lighting Design.

Her work in theatre includes: Starcrossed (Wilton’s Music Hall); Electric Rosary (Royal Exchange Theatre); Traplord (180 Studios); Jungle Rumble (Fortune Theatre); Human Nurture (Sheffield Theatres); The Wiz (Hope Mill Theatre); Is God Is (Royal Court Theatre); J’ouvert (Theatre 503 & Harold Pinter Theatre); Lucid, Tiger under the skin (New Public Company); Driving Miss Daisy (York Theatre Royal); Invisible Harmony (Southbank Centre); Just Another Day and Night (The Place Theatre); Living Newspaper Edition (Royal Court Theatre). Her work as an Associate includes: The Shark is Broken (Ambassador’s Theatre); Carousel (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); Shoe Lady (Royal Court Theatre); 15 Heroines (Jermyn Street Theatre); Herding Cats (Soho Theatre).

 

 

Aisha Webber – Performer

Aisha was born and raised in Nottingham and is of Jamaican Heritage. Growing up she would always play Reggae, Dancehall and Hip hop in her parents household and seeing the social grooves in the music videos inspired her to learn them and also educate herself about the culture behind them. She joined NuProjeks where she found her love for Poppin and later joined JME Dance Company, Xzibit Young Creatives & Bridgang’s training programme. In 2021 she was part of the first cohort for Just Us Dance Theatre’s Hip Hop apprenticeship company and following this joined Joseph’s cast for his outdoor show Born to Protest. Amongst this, Aisha has also performed at Breakin’ Convention, the Birmingham Commonwealth handover ceremony and with Kloe Dean, Myself UK Dance company.

 

Paris Crossley – Performer

Paris is a movement artist specialising in Popping and is also a member of Fiya House crew. She is primarily based in performance but also endeavours choreographic direction and production. Her work is thought provoking and often created with contextual emphasis on current world happenings and personal lived experiences. Her versatility allows her to shift between artistic realms of theatre, commercial and site specific work; she enjoys variety and champions contrasting perspective.

 

 

Amanda de Scouza – Performer

Amanda is a performer and teacher from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She has built a commercial career in dance and known for her versatility in performance styles.

 

Some of her credits include FIFA21, NICIRCO Marcos Frota &Hello Mundo tour.

 

Amanda connected with Joseph in 2021 during his artist development week New and Notble for which she performed at the centro coreográfico rio de janeiro.

 

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Unfortunately can’t book this via ROH or their own website as there is nothing about the tour and how to book tickets for it on Just us Dance website!! Perhaps it’s too soon for the 2023 dates then.

Anyway have emailed them so see what happens! 

Edited by LinMM
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