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Born to Protest dismantles presumptions about black male and female figures based on intimidation, danger and isolation – revealing instead character traits around fragility, vulnerability and a constant battle to prove oneself.

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About Joesph Toonga

Jt By Camilla Greenwell
Jospeh Toonga By Camilla Greenwell

Joseph Toonga originates from Cameroon and was raised in East London. Rooted in the Hip Hop culture and form he has established himself as a fore fronting change maker for the scene. He continually looks for authentic reasoning for choreographing and his expertise enables him to engage with other individuals and communities in order to bring stories foreword and empower people during both his research and live performances.

Commissions include Boston Conservatoire of Dance; Middlesex University; Codarts University of the Arts, Rotterdam; Edge; National Youth Ballet/ Bundesjugendballett; Richard Alston Dance Company. Achievements include Secret Cinema collaboration for the premiere of the French film Les Miserables; DanceEast Associate Artist; Elephant in the Black Box, Junior Ballet Madrid; Hofesh Shechter/ East Wall; Best Choreography Award Reverb Dance Festival (New York).

Alongside extensive teaching and independent commissions, Joseph runs his dance company ‘Just Us Dance Theatre’ (JUDT), a collective founded 2007. He established mentoring programmes (Let’s Shine Mentorship and New&Notable) to support and provide opportunities for young Hip-Hop dance artists to achieve their goals. He is also co-founder of artist-led hip-hop initiative ‘Artists4Artists’.

About Omar Spence (also known as ‘Kidd Ronin’)

Omar Spence (credit Dj ')
Omar Spence (credit Dj ‘)

Kidd Ronin aka KiRo, started dancing at 18 initially inspired by his father and godfathers who were part of the first generation of breakers in the UK. He ventured first into breaking, initially joining up with a crew from Wolverhampton called Transit Trix who introduced him to other street styles such as popping, locking, hip-hop freestyle and house. This led to performing, battling and eventually founding the second generation to his father and godfather’s crew, “Reckless”.

Over the past few years, he’s been blessed to perform for and alongside pioneers and icons such as Crazy Legs of the legendary “Rock Steady Crew”, “Morning of Owl”, King Charles, Plague, dance for Radio 1Xtra live, perform at 2 IDFB’s, Breaking’ Convention and much more. Recently he has began moving into hip-hop theatre work and initially started off by performing in “Break Mission presents Dance Of Death pt. I”, Dance Nuvu’s “B-town” and “Wings” and Deaf Explorer’s “Sign Criminal” before choreographing alongside and performing in Reckless’ “Futility X Fatigue” in which he explored themes of mental health and the effect it has on the creative process. He has run his own small jam in Wolverhampton called “Circles”, helped curate the UK’s first hip-hop archive based here within the West Midlands and perhaps most proudly helped set a world record.

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