Joseph Mannion is an inspiration to the local dance community in Manchester and around the North West. Teaching his experimental fusion movement style across the region, he has his sights set on international ventures and starting his own dance academy. I found out how he manages such a busy schedule and still finds time to dream big...
As a dancer, teacher and choreographer, you have a lot going on! What is your most exciting project at the moment?
Well I have a lot going on at the moment which is a great thing! Always best to be busy in what I do. The most exciting project I'm currently working on at the moment is I'm in talks with dancers in selected European countries on setting up international workshops. This involves me bringing them over to the UK to share their talent and visa versa, building more of a dance community around the world.
Your contemporary fusion style is very popular with students - when did you discover this individual style?
I began experimenting with the style around 3 years ago, I was taking a lot of classes during my student training and never knew where I could fit in style wise. I use to think "Okay, this style is popular now, maybe I should dance like this or like that guy" but then I took the decision to just go away and really do what felt right to me movement wise. After all, an original is always worth more than a copy! 3 years on, I'm mostly known for my Contemporary Fusion style within the community and people are starting to appreciate that individuality and my workshops are always well received which I'm very grateful for!
You're a current member of Allegiant Dance Theatre, a Manchester-based dance company. When can we see what you're working on?
I'm the newest member of the company and I've been working with the founding members in the studio to get a sense of each other's style. We're currently in the process of acquiring funding for the company which will allow us to work on creation and touring the UK and eventually Europe in 2016, so it's an exciting time to be apart of ADT!
You're in the process of starting up your very own dance academy in September. Tell us more!
At the moment, myself and my business partner are still drafting up ideas and looking at areas within Manchester that don't have a dance scene but have the potential. We're basing it around the idea of one full day of training which will consist of a versatility of Hip Hop, Contemporary, Jazz & House and bring in teachers to give students a variety of styles. Financially we've had to consider costs such as studio hire, tax and what students would be able to afford, comparing it with what we can offer, so a lot of ideas are floating around!
You're also looking for dancers to compete as a contemporary team in Paris next March. This is an amazing opportunity for upcoming dancers in the region - what are you looking for exactly?
That's correct! I'm currently looking for dancers who are interested in my style of contemporary, who are willing to work hard and bring their own sense of individuality to compete at a dance convention/competition in Disneyland Paris. I want to put together two teams, Under 14's & Over 14's, this will be an incredible opportunity to travel, gain performance experience and really just have fun doing what you enjoy. We'll be starting rehearsals for this in September so anyone who is interested should contact myself directly via my email. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
What else would you like to achieve in the future?
Oh there's so much, but in relation to career wise, I want to teach workshops around Europe and be touring with Allegiant Dance Theatre by next year. The combination of travelling, which is a love of mine, plus teaching whilst doing so, is a future that I want almost everyday. That's my own self fulfilment, but I also want to give back to my community because a lot of dance is focused within London, where the opportunities lie for many performers. I just know there is so much talent within the North that I'd like to set up my own project which will help develop young performers so they can pursue their dreams - without having to move to London.
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