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BORN TO EXIST: the woman I know

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Date & time

Thursday 27 October 2022

7.30pm - 7.30pm


£10 / £8 concessions / Free for EHU Students


The Rose Theatre


Arts Centre


BORN TO EXIST: the woman I know

Thursday 27th October 7.30pm
BORN TO EXIST: the woman I know
By Joseph Toonga

This Hip Hop Dance Theatre Production forms 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. Analysing representation with an intersectional focus to show untold, underrepresented, individual journeys.

Joseph combines his research with his own experiences and the cast to manifest what is means to be a human and show it in all it’s ugliness, beauty, contradictions and complexity.

Joseph’s choreographic style is used as a conduit for trauma, fed through a vacuum of movement and given to audiences.

This work brings together a powerhouse of creatives, lighting design by Simisola Majekodunmi, an original score from Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante and dramaturg Peggy Olislaegers and provides the platform for ultimate activism.

Alongside this theatre production Joseph is collaborating with three afro Brazilan female creatives to establish a social programme in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The progamme ‘Young, Gifted & Black’ works to support and empower low-income black female teenagers favela’s in Rio through dance

“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

Creative team

Choreographer – Joseph Toonga

Creative Producer – Emily Crouch

Composer – Michael ‘Mikey J’Asante

Dramaturg – Peggy Olislaegers

Lighting Designer – Simisola Majekodunmi

Performers – Aisha Webber, Amanda de Souza, Paris Crossley

Leading image credit – Harrison Dante

Joseph Toonga is The Royal Ballet’s Emerging Choreographer 2021-2023.

Tickets: £10 / £8 concessions
Free for EHU Students

Free for schools and colleges

Audience type