Joseph Toonga is originally from the Cameroon and was raised in East London. His company Just Us Dance Theatre combines the rawness, compression and precision of Hip-Hop with contemporary choreography. The company has grown over ten years to use this practice to communicate real life stories, extending and sharing the rich cultural offer of Hip-Hop to audiences and participants of all ages, abilities, backgrounds and cultures.
Born to Manifest is Just Us Dance Theatre’s latest 60-minute Hip-Hop programme which has been commissioned by The Place, Redbridge Drama Centre and DanceEast where Joseph is an Associate Artist.
The titular opening solo, performed by Joseph himself, sets a mental health agenda, exploring the stigma and the effects of depression and drawing on the real-life challenges faced by young British black men.
Toonga’s new female trio Woman I Know forms the second part of the programme. Exploring the influence of feminine kindness and grace on the man’s world-view, this is an emotive, visceral piece, reflecting women’s strength and resilience.