Manifest Nation at The National Theatre! (Gallery)

The National Theatre call in Manifest Nation!

We are super-proud to announce that our squad, Manifest Nation, were special invited guests to perform at the National Theatre this week in an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Pericles. This is an unprecedented honour for our company and it took time to sink in!

Emily Lim, director of the project, came to see us at a training session, and was immediately hooked . Although we have a lot of talent at Manifest Nation, when someone from outside the community appreciates you, it resonates.

Asked to create a waacking-influenced piece, the guys workshopped a number of ideas and created a truly explosive piece. They adopted the role of a race they called ‘Thanetians’, who could be recognised by their gold outfits, regal mannerisms and hand gestures. The phrase ‘Thanetians’ was a take on our group’s training home, The Thanet.

It was an easy call to make!

Damien, with help from Angelika, created some work we had never explored in this way and the characterisation of our artists had to be on point.

Below is a program which Tinman attempted to get signed by several other guest groups including The London Bulgarian Choir, Acension Eagles Cheerleading team and Archetype Dance Company. The bulk of the cast was made up of non-professionals from around London. The heartbeat of this motivation was called Public Acts. Part of the magic of this production was working with such a diverse cast.

Pericles received 4 and 5 star reviews in a number of publications including:

The Times

The Independent

Radio Times

What’s On Stage

The Guardian

MN on stage at National Theatre

We hope you will enjoy these images of the process, backstage and the performance. Look out for more MN projects across the year calendar! 

Solid as gold at the National Theatre

Our signed program from the Pericles cast at National Theatre

From all of us here on planet Thanet, we wish you a golden day! #MNAllday

No Tears Left To Cry – Manifest Nation (video)

No tears left to cry shoot day!

Our pro squad, Manifest Nation, just released their summer video entitled, ‘No More Tears’. This piece choreographed to Ariana Grande’s ‘No Tears Left To Cry’ by T Damien Anyasi, features Angelika and Mok as our feature characters. We also introduce new faces Esme, Alexandra, Macaulay and Marcella in their first video with the squad. The … Read more

Fun times at Hampstead Festival – The round up and more

Getting busy at Hampstead Festival

Last weekend we were invited, for the 5th consecutive year, to share what we do at Hampstead Festival. It was probably the most fun year ever!

Featuring a host of our open-class students, our professional performance company, Manifest Nation, and the Hampstead public, we shared classes, performances and Hampstead’s longest ‘Soul Train Line’! 

Here are some highlights from our wonderful weekend..

Man like Mok at Hampstead Festival

Our adult squad at Hampstead Festival

The squad lined up at Hampstead Festival

The heat brought at Hampstead Festival

Tinman speaks at Hampstead Festival

We’d like to thank all those that joined us, and for more footage, check this Instagram post !

Why we love a festival

We love events like Hampstead Festival because we can really communicate with the public. Although, we put out fliers and our online presence is strong, there really is no substitute. Connecting with an audience and teaching public workshops is how to really show what we do.

Camden is rife with summer events and many can be found here. We applied for several of these and you can join us at the show!

Some times we are only permitted to perform. What’s great about performance is that our open class students can also participate. Periodically we create choreography for performance in our open classes and festivals are the ideal platform. At B-Better we appreciate that people come to learn for different reasons, and performance may be one! Although we love performing there is just as much fun to be had at..

A Workshop

Teaching the general public from the stage or at eye level has yielded amazing results for us. We take great pleasure in sharing our knowledge with a mixed audience. The joy of events like Hampstead Festival is that there is a dearth of ages and demographics. Our workshop may end in a freestyle or other participatory activity, and that’s what raises a smile.

Combining performance with interactive activity underpins our summer and we look forward to seeing YOU this season!

Have yourself a B-Better Christmas! (Tinsel limbo optional)

B-Better Christmas in full effect

B-Better Christmas cheer!

To celebrate B-Better Christmas this year and the end of an amazing season, we asked the junior dancers of our professional company, Manifest Nation, to choreograph our first Christmas video. If you’d been there, you woulda loved it!

Under the artistic direction of Damien and camera skills of Tru, the results are certain to put a smile on your face. We look forward to creating more memories in the new year and want to thank all of our students and supporters for being part of the joy.

B-Better Christmas in full effect

The Process

We have a great relationship with Camden Market, so we asked for a small favour! Our monthly public dance jam, Electric Slide, was held in the market but we needed a space with a bit more personality. If you’ve ever been to Camden Market you’ll know it’s rife with interesting spaces and locations.

Our younger dancers were tasked with creating a piece of choreography for themselves and the rest of Manifest Nation. This request was met with a mix of excitement and worry initially, but they had little choice! 🙂

Internally, the object of this was to give them some responsibility and assess their sense of teamwork. M-Rain was assigned the cane choreography whilst the rest of the team, lead by Ellie and Dyal, the chorus.

Living it up for a B-Better Christmas

The Shoot

No, not the dance of the of the same name – the actual filming process!

Fortunately, the lighting in the room needed no augmentation and the team were MOSTLY well rehearsed. Tru, Jas and Tin took turns behind the camera and directing, and the storyboard was followed closely. Total time on set was about 4 hours, and as you can see we are pretty happy with results.

B-Better Christmas shoot in progress

Extra Footage

The ice skating scenes and restaurant scenes are from our annual trip to Alexandra Palace. This trip is open to all students, friends and family which truly reflects the spirit of the season.

Below you can finally enjoy the full video. Leave us a comment below on your favourite aspect!

Manifest Nation – 2nd at World Crew Battle!

What is World Crew Battle? In October 2017, some of our adult dancers from our professional company, Manifest Nation, competed at the World Crew Battle event in Deptford, London. This was the London heat, sponsored by Swatch, and was unlike any other event of recent time. The winners of the event had the opportunity to … Read more

Izaskun x Tinmantis – ‘Human Being’ dance video

Tinman and Izaskun in Human Being

Izaskun with Tinman

This summer there has been a lot of activity in the ‘downtime’ at B-Better. One of the highlights is the boss’s recent trip to New York. On his travels he shot a short freestyle dance video with Spanish locking and hiphop specialist, Izaskun

They called this collaboration, ‘Human Being’.

Izaskun with the guvnor, Tinman

Catch the video here, with a little something extra for the patient viewers. Tell us in the comments which was your favourite part! Izaskun is an inspiring artist.

Find out more about Izaskun’s presence in Barcelona, check her site Funky Training. We will aim to do an interview  when she comes to England in September.

More on New York

During this trip, Tin was also able to take classes with some of the greatest pioneers in the dance game. Inlcuding Mop Top family (Hiphop), Chrybaby Cozie (Lite Feet) and Jeff Selby (Hustle). This took place at the world famous EXPG studios and in the heart of Harlem (great place to visit!).

Also, as a number of dancers were in the city for ‘Step Ya Game Up’ and other events, Tin got some boys together to shoot a video.  This collective of boy waacking dancers is called The Waacksons! 

The video will be posted below, but for now it’s been blocked by YouTube. Ah, the magic of copyright infringement.

The Waacksons – I'm A Man from Tin Man on Vimeo.

Manifest Nation on London Live at Chinese New Year

MN on London Live

Right after performing for Chinese New Year recently Manifest Nation were interviewed by London Live – the TV channel for our fair city. Here’s a brief excerpt of what was discussed:

We’re working on finding the FULL version to share with you all, but we hope you’ll be boosted by the progress of the group! See more images on all social media with the hashtag #ManifestNation.

Manifest Nation before meeting London Live

Story context

London Live asked the questions which were expected, but for Manifest Nation, the show was particularly challenging. We’ll tell you why:

1) Notice

As mentioned in the video , we only had 10 days to prepare for the event, which is less than ideal. This is amplified by the fact that the audience weren’t there to see us, plus we had other projects on the boil.

Our performance the following year at the National Theatre was 3-4 months from initial meeting to opening night. This is how things should be done.

2) The Stage

The stage we were due to dance on didn’t arrive as there was a traffic incident. This meant we had to dance on the cobblestones at eye-level with the audience.

Now, the eye-level thing was fine, but the cobblestones were a REAL headache to perform on and not one of us felt comfortable. That day we vowed not to dance on cobbles again

3) The Weather

Yes, it’s London and yes, it rains here. The mixture of the cold AND rain with the other elements mentioned just made the vibe…miserable. If you watch carefully, we’re all huddled together for warmth and this was not staged!

In Conclusion

Some valuable lessons were learnt on this show, and our group is always up for performing. If you go back and watch the video knowing these points though, you may sense the bittersweet emotions.

Our involvement with The Big Dance – Thanks, Sadiq!

Welcome to The Big Dance Bus! The Big Dance is a nationwide celebration of dance, led by the Mayor of London in partnership with People Dancing. Also, it is in it’s 10th year! All across the country this summer different professional organisations, community groups and everything in between are engaging in different activities. Here at … Read more