Big J Stylez
Big J Stylez is a solo work written and performed by Jacob Dombroski, nee Te Amo (Ngai Tuhoe, Ngati Porou). Jacob uses his ancestral roots to channel a performance, which is both primal, and heartfelt.
Big J Stylez explores Jacob’s passions – music, dance, and acting, weaving a story which allows the audience to peer in and become a part of his whanau (family). The story highlights struggles he has faced for being different, Jacob was bullied at school for being born with Down syndrome. He has been able to use this pain to create a dialogue about acceptance and truth, inspiring others to leave their past behind and write their own destiny.
Jacob puppeteers his childhood friend/soft toy Tiger to describe the formative years with his brother and single mum. These lighter moments of Jacob’s story are mirrored by moments of violence towards him and frustration of not being understood. A krump battle shows the moment his bully pushes Jacob over the edge after calling him a ‘handicap’. Using his body to articulate the raw emotion Jacob expresses the unspeakable through dance.
“I loved this show. It was engaging and held me riveted throughout the piece. It was a work that reminded me what a celebration and powerful force theatre can be” – Apirana Taylor, on the development season.
“Captivating raw energy, lovely supportive design. Totally a performer who’s going to connect to any audience.”
“The energy & enthusiasm of Jacob was all engaging. I didn’t want it to finish.”
Written by Jacob Dombroski with support from Rose Kirkup & Braedyn Togi.
Directed by Rose Kirkup
Starring Jacob Dombroski
Choreography Braedyn Togi
Design Rowan Pierce
Lighting Owen McCarthy (2017)
Poster Illustration Ariki Brightwell
2017 Studio 77, 22/23 February, 8.30pm
Showings were presented during Pūtahi Festival, an artist-led development festival organised by Tawata Productions and curated by Moana Ete. Emerging creators and performers from various artforms presented new works, as well as some experimental forays and forums to engage the soul and senses.