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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. 

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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 at 7:30
  • January 26 at 7:30
  • January 27 at 7:30


Assigned Seating | Single Tickets: $29

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Deaf / hard of hearing Friendly

More information on accessibility will be available by mid December.


Choreographer  Joseph Toonga Performers Stefano A Addae & Joseph Toonga Producer Emily Crouch Dramaturg Peggy Olislaegers Composer Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante