Fri 14 October

Joseph Toonga - Born to Exist

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After two popular visits, Royal Ballet Emerging Choreographer Joseph Toonga returns to The Lowry with his muscular hip hop dance theatre. Born To Exist champions the powerful force of women who shape his life. Drawn from personal experience and stories from the all-female cast  expect an honest and uplifting evening with inspirational movement asserting the claim to unapologetically exist. Born To Exist follow Joseph’s previous explorations into fatherhood and the black male.


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