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Born to Manifest

Showing on Jan 25-27

Playing at Performance Works

Joseph Toonga Promo ©The Other Richard

Joseph Toonga and Just Us Dance Theatre (UK)

Joseph Toonga channels the experiences of young Black British men in this fierce, dynamic dance performance. The show begins with the lone figure of Toonga and some harshly suggestive audio: ape noises, gunshots, the sounds of police making arrests. It’s a dramatization of stigma, with racial identity the site of both oppression and pride. Soon, another man appears, and from there, the production becomes a kind of physical dialogue: the two dancers move both with and against each other, in gestures that are by turns combative and conciliatory. 

Set to an original score by Mikey J and marked by the idioms of street dancing, Born to Manifest draws on styles like krump, and also on the martial arts moves that influenced urban dance at the point of its inception; the result is an exhilarating fusion. What these two performers achieve with their leaps, rolls, and contortions is a kinetic expression of resistance—a glorious act of assertion. There will be a post-show chat after the January 26 performance, moderated by Gabrielle Martin.

“Unrelenting, uncompromising and unique.” —Fjord Review

“[D]ance theatre of the most original and impressive kind.” —Socialist Review

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Artist Bio

Just Us Dance Theatre

Just Us Dance Theatre is a frontline hip-hop organization connecting dance communities internationally.

Joseph Toonga

Working in the tradition of hip-hop culture, and inspired by the harsh social realities that surround him, Joseph Toonga creates and performs dance works of strong political commitment. His past achievements include Daughter, Daughter and To Be Felt. Joseph was recently appointed Emerging Choreographer with the Royal Ballet.  


Performance Works

1218 Cartwright Street, Granville Island, Vancouver


  • January 25: 7:30
  • January 26: 7:30
  • January 27: 7:30

Runtime: 55 mins

Post-Show Chat: January 26, 2021

Streamed performance available starting January 25 at 7:30PM until January 27 at 11:59PM.


Assigned Seating | Single Tickets: $29


Icon signalling a relaxed performance (casual or low sensory)

There will be a Relaxed Performance on Jan. 25th, more info below

Icon signalling a deaf or hard of hearing friendly performance

Deaf / hard of hearing Friendly

This dance performance is very visual but the sound at the beginning carries a lot of meaning, to find out more about that please email access@pushfestival.ca

See or download the visual story for this show.
The visual story has information and pictures to help people prepare for the experience or decide if this show is right for them.

On the day of the relaxed performance there will be an introduction to give people an opportunity to hear some of the loud sounds and see some of the intense moments beforehand. If you want to attend that, please arrive by 7pm and let us know you would like to attend.


Choreographer  Joseph Toonga Performers Cache Thake & Joseph Toonga Producer Emily Crouch Dramaturg Peggy Olislaegers Composer Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante