Manifest Nation at ‘Two Two Steps’

Young bloods get busy at Two Two Steps!

Last month our Junior dancers from Manifest Nation performed at The Urban Dance School show, ‘Two Two Steps’! For five of them, it was their first show for MN and they definitely impressed. Company director, Damien, hosted the show, and it was a great occasion to reunited with one of our long-time partner companies. Enjoy these shots from the event!

An evolution for Manifest Nation

This show was special for our junior dancers as 5 of the 6 of them had never performed for Manifest Nation before. We’d held auditions only 4 weeks prior and the opportunity to perform was a great way to sharpen minds.

The training in the lead up to this event was a bit of a baptism of fire for some of our young artists. Some had never performed before and some had no real knowledge of hiphop form. A couple of our youngsters initially felt that training was like any other dance class, but it was important to straighten that idea quickly, ha.

We used a mix of choreography which included the piece from their audition, a piece from a competition earlier this year and some other new and old material. It was important for us that the youngsters performed pieces with different energetic feelings and moods.

This experience at Two Two steps became a springboard for a summer of events for our young artists. With most going on to secondary school in September, we plan to be a solid part of their evolution. While undergoing a lot of changes, it’s important for us they can take comfort from their experience with MN. Growing up as a teen in this era is harder than ever, so we are fortunate to have dance. Stay tuned to Manifest Nation page here on our website to to stay up to date of where we’re appearing next.

Sarah gets busy at Two Two Steps

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

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

Hallowe’en with NBC Universal – A reflection

Last month we were invited to run a hallowe’en dance activity for Comcast / NBC Universal at their London offices and great fun was had by all.

This event, for 200 select children, was an opportunity for Tru, Ryan, Damien and new-face, Kerri, to teach a revised version of Michael Jackson’s’Thriller’ routine, and a fun time was had by all.

Our booking agent, Kat at Shift London, had this to say after the event:

“You guys were absolutely superb, you absolutely stole the show. It was better than what I had imagined.”

We were moved by this account, and hope you enjoy some pictures from the occasion! Visit here to see whether we can enrich YOUR event 🙂

Hallowe'en with NBC Universal

Hallowe'en with NBC. Squad 1

Following this success, we were invited back to perform again with an all new cast the next year.

From left to right: Alexandra, Ade, Tinman and Marcella.

Hallowe'en with NBC universal. Squad 2

Alexandra and Marcella are two of our Manifest Nation dancers and Ade is one of our open class teachers. The contrast of styles between our team ensured the young people enjoyed the experience.

Stay tuned to find out if we spend Hallowe’en with NBC this year 🙂

Event management hacks

Like most fun experiences, the better the plan, the more likely fun will be had. It pays to make note of the desired outcome of an experience before the planning process. Once the target is clear, timelines can be made. One timeline is for the activities at the event and the other is for tasks to complete prior.

On location, it pays to do a reconnoissance mission of the space. Entrances and exits to the experience are as important as the activity itself. The temperature and environment are also incremental in the experience of the clients.

We are going to expand on these hacks in a future post. What do you think is the hardest thing about producing an event? Give us a comment below.

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.