Tomorrow’s Men is a groundbreaking organisation established by Jeanefer Jean-Charles, to address the disengagement of boys and young men from society and to support vulnerable young men build better relationships.
East London Dance partnered with Tomorrow’s Men to develop a large scale performance as part of Big Dance 2012 and Greenwich + Docklands International Festival’s Dancing City.
We brought together a team of male dance artists to work with 100 young men from the 8 east London boroughs over 10 weeks to build their confidence and develop their dance and performance skills. The young men were drawn from Pupil Referral Units, schools for those with emotional and behavioural difficulties, secondary schools, primary schools and experienced male dance groups.
We invited high profile male role models to come and talk to the young men about how they developed successful careers, including Riz Ahmed (Actor, MC and star of Four Lions and Ill Manors), Jazzie B (founding member of Soul II Soul) and Tony Dallas (Spoken word artist and community activist).
The project culminated in a large-scale performance where the young men performed alongside professional dancers in Canary Wharf as part of Dancing City on Saturday 30 June 2012.
The result was an all male, high energy, athletic new performance that fused street dance, hip-hop, contemporary dance and acrobatics. Tomorrow’s Men, worked with the men of tomorrow, asking the question how can we encourage and celebrate high achievement among our young men? With youthful intensity and political bite this performance woke up the city and was a highlight of the festival.
The performance was featured on BBC Culture Show:
Tomorrow’s Men was featured in The Guardian:
"Tomorrows Men was such an excellent and exciting project. All of the boys loved it and were still talking about it till the end of term. They have gained a number of invaluable skills throughout the whole process such as determination, focus, leadership skills and heightened self-confidence. It gave them a chance to enhance their performance and choreographic dance skills and work with inspirational professional choreographers and dancers. They were inspired by the positive male role models and were really keen to continue working with them. The boys loved performing in the city centre especially with links to some of their parents working within Canary Wharf. They were particularly excited about the performance getting broadcasted on TV making sure that the whole school was aware it was happening. I feel that the boys did particularly well with working alongside another boys secondary school to create their section. The boys were initially apprehensive about this but both groups bonded well and friendships were developed throughout the project."
Teacher from a participating Secondary School
"Was really poignant and moving. A real triumph"