Big J Stylez

Big J Stylez is a solo work written and performed by Jacob Dombroski, nee Te Amo (Ngai Tuhoe, Ngati Porou).

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. 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 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.

 

Feedback:

“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.

“[Big J Stylez will] make you so very pleased that you made the effort to see an artist
testing, trying-out and more importantly putting his whole soul,heart and body into his work. That kind of generosity and authenticity will make you realise just what a rarity that and Jacob is.” – Maraea Rakuraku

“Alternating dance with monologue he [Jacob] shows us some of the formative episodes in his childhood. We cheer, and laugh and go very quiet when he describes some of the negative attitudes people have towards him because he happened to be born with Down syndrome… The dance which expresses his rage and sorrow was one of the most arresting pieces I’ve seen in a while” – Kris Wehipeihana, The Wellingtonista

“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.”

Creative Team:

Written by Jacob Dombroski
Directed by Rose Kirkup
Starring Jacob Dombroski

Design Rowan Pierce
Choreography Braedyn Togi
Lighting Owen McCarthy (2017 Season)

Poster Illustration Ariki Brightwell

Season/s:

2018 Te Auaha, 6-10 March (NZ Fringe Festival)

2017 Studio 77, 22/23 February, 8.30pm

Development:

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.

Media:

Read Daniela Pavez’s article of Jacob beginning his solo journey at Arts Access Aotearoa.

Thanks:

Our Whanau & Friends…

Rachel Tufuga, Michael Dombroski, Corban Te Amo & Freeman Dombroski.

Anne De Geus, Anne Wilkes, Apirana Taylor, Bevin Smith, Brian King, Buoy Salon & Spa, Claire Mepham, Dan Whitaker, Diana Cable, Emma Ransley, Eve Leniston-Howell, Gina Moss, Glass Vaults, Greer Robertson, Hone Kouka, Inverlochy Art School, Joseph Lane (uber bro), Michael Pitt, Mīria George, Moana Ete, Morgan Whitfield, New Zealand School of Dance, Owen McCarthy, Pūtahi Festival, Richard Larsen, SIK productions, Tawata Productions, Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School, & Tola Newbery.

Te Auaha Team:
Cherie Jacobson, James Kearney, Will Harris, Olivia Kirikiri

IHC Foundation, Wellington City Council, Holdsworth Charitable Trust, Boosted Supporters, Illumination + Optics, Te Auaha, Creative New Zealand Kakano, NZ Fringe.