ABOUT

Toussaint To Move was established in 2015, founded by artistic director, Akeim Toussaint Buck. Akeim is an interdisciplinary performer and maker, born in Jamaica and raised in England. Toussaint To Move’s intention is to create moving, thought provoking, accessible and free-spirited projects. Exploring a variety of themes that challenge, enlighten, and entertain audiences in a visceral way by calling on multiple art forms to weave a spectacle. Audiences are not just observers; they are implicit in the experience. The work aims to reflect on reality, looking at ongoing socio-political issues, with a humanitarian intention.

Since graduating from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance with a first-class honour bachelor’s degree in Performing Arts, Akeim has been involved in multiple cross disciplinary projects with a wide range of artists and communities from around the world. The aesthetic of the work combines art forms such as: dance, creative writing, film, poetry, beat-box, singing and acting. Fused to create performances bridge the gaps between a variety of audiences, cross pollinating audiences from different mediums of art.

Akeim’s movement interest has a myriad of inspirations that include Capoeira, Martial Arts, Contemporary Dance, Contact Improvisation, Caribbean Dance, Hip Hop and Yoga. His performance focus expands from the physical to vocal expression. Building on an interest in the voice’s expressive qualities, with current explorations of beatboxing and vocal improvisation in the form of the Beatmotion Practice. With a focus on rhythm, flow, melody of lyrical delivery and musical capabilities in the voice.

The future is bright @ToussaintToMove, new projects and partnerships are being solidified adding momentum and repertoire to the universe of the work. In the past decade Akeim’s achievements include becoming Irie Dance Theatre’s Artist in Residence for 2019-2020, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Yorkshire Dance and Spin Arts’ Catapult 2019. Becoming Associate Artist at Geraldine Connor Foundation 2018 and Deda Derby 2021. Creating Radical Visions through Sadler’s Wells Wild Card program 2022 and becoming recipient of The Arts Foundation Futures Dance Theatre Award 2023.

Special thanks to the following organisations for the continued support Leeds Playhouse, Leeds Inspired, IRIE! Dance Theatre, Spin Arts, RJC, Fabric, Streatham Space Project, Serendipity, NSCD and Arts Council England etc.

Here is an artist you will hear more about, guaranteed to deliver work that moves you.

Welcome to Toussaint To Move.

Windows Of Displacement

image credit Ashley Karrell

Windows of Displacement, choreographed and performed by Akeim Toussaint Buck is an autobiographically sourced solo blending dance, song and spoken word to explore personal and global narratives, ancestral memory and the increasingly urgent shifting politics surrounding the movement of people.

Commissioned by Yorkshire Dance Amplified and Northern School of Contemporary Dance through the Northern Connections programme, delivered in partnership with Spin Arts and Leeds Beckett University. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Developed at Leeds Playhouse and supported by The Civic, Barnsley and RJC Dance. Premiered 2016 at Leeds Playhouse.

Special thanks to Amanda Huxtable, Zodwa Nyoni, Beth Cassani, Sai Murray, Akeelah Betram, Amy Letman, Janet Smith, and Audrey Mae Bartholomew.

Windows Of Displacement has toured extensively throughout England and is now ready for international bookings.

Song Train Twins

image credit Maria Alzamora

Behold a playground of dance and sound!

Twins from another galaxy, or ninjas outrunning reality,
Or cats with musical vocality.
Whatever they may be
They are expressing the finer and darker things in their life.
From their twists and turns, their highs and lows,
Witness the ebon flow of their psychedelic exploration.
Be in awe of their awesomeness.

Song Train Twins is a 25 minutes, site-generic, dance and sound duet created using Akeim Toussaint Buck’s ‘Beatmotion Practice’.

‘Beatmotion’ is a practice developed for people to connect with and explore dance and vocal sound through
improvisation and set material play.

Supported by Leeds Inspired and The Arts Foundation Futures Award in Dance Theatre.

Trailer credit to Maria Alzamora and Kojo Doku.

Sib Y Osis

image credit Camilla Greenwell

Sib Y Osis is a dance theatre performance encapsulating a journey of contentment, play, fear, rage, and joy. A trio performed by two dancers and a musician. This is a story exploring an emotive journey shared by siblings living in a state of spirit and dance, opposed by a shifting environment of pain and celebration. Drawing on the feelings of oppressed people in the current reawakening of the political right wing. Taking inspiration from historical and present systems of discrimination, activism, and spirituality. This work draws power from the elating spirit to bring relief from the struggle.

The development of Sib Y Osis was supported by Serendipity for their BHM Leicester showcase. With ongoing support from Irie Dance Theatre, RJC Dance and Dance Studio Leeds. Developed with public funding from National Lottery via Arts Council England.

This work has been performed as an outdoor and indoor work and is currently on a hiatus to be further developed as a multimedia outdoor spectacle.

Filmed and Edited by Dan Martin

Negus Genesis

image credit Bokehgo

The beginning, the primordial existence of the concept before it becomes formed. In a space before the coronation of the Negus, there is a space of spirit and ritual that brings forth the physical. The incantation of Negus evokes: devotion, discipline, leadership and glory triumphantly. Negus Genesis exposes this space where the chosen is decided and what no longer serves falls away to make space for new modes of being. Negus, believed by many scholars to be an ancient Ethiopian word meaning emperor or king, seems to have been shifted into becoming another N word of derogative nature. This work is a means to rewrite what has been done and bring to light the true power of the sound of Negus.

SOULS & CELLS

Omer Gaash Photography

Souls & Cells is a collaboration between Akeim Toussaint Buck and Crystal Zillwood, exploring ancestry and biology – what makes us different and what unites us on a universal level. During 4 months, Akeim and Crystal researched a joint artistic practice with an intergenerational participatory strand – working together in the studio, delivering participation activities and receiving mentorship throughout the process.

Supported using public funded from Arts Council England/National Lottery, and co-commissioned by Déda Derby Dance.

Partners: Déda Derby Dance, Leeds Black Elders Association, KalaSangam, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Sadler’s Well, The Dance Studio Leeds.

Filmed and Edited by Dan Canham

DISPLACED

Ashley Karrell is an award-winning director, photographer, film, and theatre-maker with a career spanning 20 years. He has produced a broad spectrum of work that includes visual art, commercial and experimental video productions, and mass participation pieces across and outside of the UK.

Ashley & Akeim have collaborated on numerous films over the years, this includes Displaced, Reckoning and Negus. All of which have been accepted into numerous festivals and are screened in independent events curated by the artists.

Displaced is the cinematic reimagining of Akeim Toussaint Buck’s one-man dance theatre show: ‘Windows of Displacement’. Created and Co-directed by Ashley Karrell, the film continues the exploration of themes such as: displacement, race, culture, and imperialism. Focussing more on the African Diaspora via the settings of the inner-city community. Taking aspects of the live work and re-contextualising them in real life spaces that support in amplifying this feeling of displacement. Giving the viewer a fraction of the feeling of being displaced people. Visually captivating with striking imagery and virtuoso dance, ‘Displaced’ takes the viewer on a journey calling for reflection and global change. Displaced was created using public funding through National Lottery and Arts Council England.

RECKONING

Reckoning is a multimedia short film created by a collaboration of Liberty EU Portfolio artists – Choreographer and Storyteller Akeim Toussaint Buck, Filmmaker Ashley Karrell, Animator Benedetta Fasson and Writer mandla rae. Weaving together contemporary lyrical dance, archive, animation, and storytelling. Reckoning has been created from the Reckoning with Refugeedom archives which tell the stories of generations of displaced people in their own words. Reckoning was commissioned by ArtReach for Journeys Festival International in partnership with the University of Manchester, funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council and co-funded by Creative Europe as part of Liberty EU.

NEGUS

Negus, the title bestowed on Emperors of Ethiopia, the Kings of Kings. This is an initiation, a story of anointing beckoned to the receiver from within. A striking figure narrates this poetic world of form and formlessness, evoking a sense of spirit and other worldliness. Dance and music transiently immerse this journey from the still darkness of the unknown to the coronation of the child. Our ascension doesn’t start from any outward action, it takes place from our acknowledgement of our greatness. The creation of Negus was commission by Sadlers Wells and can still be seen on their Digital Stage.

Curation

Radical Visions is born out of Akeim Toussaint Buck’s Wild Card programme at Sadlers Wells in January 2022. Taking over traditional theatre spaces it gathers audiences to experience live and contemporary work exploring race, ancestry, and power. Radical Visions intentionally commissions, showcases, and celebrates work and artists from the Global Majority while cultivating community and ally-ship. After two sold-out, 5-star events at Sadler’s Wells, Radical Visions returned, taking place in Leeds as part of the COLOUR Festival at NSCD in October 2022.

Radical Visions have included artists such as Alethia Antonia, FUBUNATION, Gerrard Martin Dance, Gateway Productions, Muti Musafiri, Soloman The Wizard, Tatenda Matsvai, Lateshia Howell, Ginalda Tavares, Taiwo Ogunyinka, Lulia Togara, Pariss Elektra, Azizi Cole, Otis Jones, Matias Reid, Amy Adiaga and Xhosa Cole. If you’re interested in this curational extravaganza, please get in touch and let’s take Radical Visions to the world.

MOVEMENT DIRECTION

FAR GONE
BY JOHN RWOTHOMACK

“IF I INVITED YOU TO COME WITH ME ON JOURNEY, A STORY, WILL YOU COME WITH ME?” NORTHERN UGANDA. WHEN OKUMU’S VILLAGE IS ATTACKED BY THE LORD’S RESISTANCE ARMY (LRA), HE AND HIS BROTHER’S LIVES ARE CHANGED FOREVER. FAR GONE IS A PROFOUNDLY MOVING STORY OF A YOUNG BOY’S JOURNEY FROM CHILDHOOD INNOCENCE TO CHILD SOLDIER. SEEN THROUGH THE EYES OF THOSE THAT LOVE HIM AND THOSE THAT BETRAY HIM, OKUMU’S EXPERIENCE STRIKES STRAIGHT AT THE HEART THROUGH A POWERFUL ONE-MAN PERFORMANCE. WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY JOHN RWOTHOMACK, THIS SHOW WAS ORIGINALLY DEVISED THROUGH SHEFFIELD THEATRE’S ‘MAKING ROOM’ AND IS DIRECTED BY MOJI ELUFOWOJU, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF SHEFFIELD THEATRE’S RESIDENT COMPANY, UTOPIA THEATRE.

CARNIVAL CHRONICLES
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY ZODWA NYONI.

CHARTING A LOVE STORY SPANNING 50 YEARS, FROM THE CARIBBEAN TO LEEDS, MELODY AND CYRIL TELL THEIR STORY OF MIGRATION, LOVE, LOSS AND CELEBRATION. CARNIVAL CHRONICLES IS EMBROIDERED WITH MOMENTS FROM LEEDS WEST INDIAN CARNIVAL’S HALF A CENTURY HISTORY AND THE ACCOUNTS OF THE PIONEERS AND COMMUNITY THAT BROUGHT CARNIVAL TO THE CITY OF LEEDS.

IDOL
BY JAMAL GERALD

WHO WOULD YOU RATHER PRAY TO? BEYONCÉ OR WHITE JESUS?

JAMAL GREW UP CATHOLIC IN A CARIBBEAN HOUSEHOLD, BUT WOULD RATHER LIGHT A CANDLE AND WORSHIP CELEBRITIES THAN WHITE SAINTS. COMBINING AFRICAN DIASPORIC RITUAL, MUSIC AND STORYTELLING, IDOL IS A SPIRITUAL JOURNEY THAT ASKS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DON’T SEE YOURSELF REPRESENTED. FEATURING A HOST OF CELEBRITY APPEARANCES.

JAMAL GERALD IS AN ARTIST BASED IN LEEDS. HIS WORK IS CONVERSATIONAL, SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS AND A CELEBRATION OF INDIVIDUALITY.

Nine Night
a Leeds Playhouse and Nottingham Playhouse co-production

Directed by Amanda Huxtable. Natasha Gordon’s remarkable award-winning debut play, which was originally commissioned by and played at the National Theatre ahead of a successful West End run, holds a mirror up to family life – and loss – reflecting the heartfelt comedy and deep sorrow that occurs when they gather together to share memories, good food and grievances older than Gloria’s well-loved dining table.

EARTHFLOW

This is a class inspired by Contemporary and Caribbean Dance Elements, Release Technique, Animal Flow, Yoga and Capoeira. We will seek liberation and flow of our movement, by strengthening our grounding/connection to the earth and finding elasticity of our core. From shifting our weight in lower spaces of gravity, to slicing space, changing levels and textures of movement. We will integrate movement patterns and rhythms, travelling through the room. Inviting an acute focus, finding accuracy, breath and clarity. In an energetic and playful environment we will revitalise our senses, build strength, stamina and open our awareness as we move together as one in our bodies and as a community. Class will be accompanied by live music (beat box).

This class can be adapted to different ages and for all levels from beginners in dance to professionals.

Beatmotion

Beatmotion has developed from a curiosity to make a show of the same name, into a comprehensive practice that has many different tiers and levels to it. Since I began researching voice and movement, as a beatboxer and dancer, I have found so many benefits and playful ways to create more access to creativity and variety in creative expression. There is a  cathartic experience that comes from playing with the voice and movement as the body holds all our stored experiences and without knowing it we can bring to light things that we have harboured or don’t face through some of the exercises and observation of this practice. 

For professional performers I can lead a session sharing how I developed Beatmotion from vocal improvisation games and methods to help devise and choreograph some of my work. Exploring theatrical elements for character development, working with syllabic structures to create rhythm, meandering the pulse or beat between language and the beat of music. Furthermore increasing our musical knowledge and abilities to listen to music, sense internal rhythm and play in different time signatures, all whilst continuing to execute one’s dancing. 

In the context of sharing this practice for the general public I tend to share some of what I would do with professionals and then some. Focussing more on the act of play as this playful practice is a sure instigator for the inner child. Bringing participant’s awareness to what I call the inner child and the inner critic. Revealing and dissecting how we edit ourselves or are sometimes afraid of what we may say or do, all to find liberation in just letting things happen durng our explorations. 

See Me

Track to get concert, live stream and tour updates.

  • Souls & Cells at Northern School of Contemporary Dance
  • 05/06/2023-19:30
  • 05/06/2023-21:00
  • 98 Chapeltown Road, Leeds, LS7 4BH
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  • Uncanned Open Mic
  • 04/20/2023-19:00
  • 04/20/2023-21:00
  • 223 Chapeltown Rd, Leeds LS7 3DX
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  • MY WORD, THE WORLD & A JOURNEY TO JOY
  • 04/22/2023-18:00
  • 04/22/2023-20:00
  • 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA, England.
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  • 0

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