BREAKIN’ CONVENTION ’17
International Festival of Hip Hop Dance Theatre
Sadler’s Wells & National Tour
April — June 2017
Sadler’s Wells’ critically acclaimed international festival of hip hop dance theatre, Breakin’ Convention, is back, with performances from UK and international companies and crews. Now in its 14th year, this hugely popular Sadler’s Wells Production is once again hosted and curated by Associate Artist Jonzi D. Following the annual festival at Sadler’s Wells over the May bank holiday (Saturday 29 April — Monday 1 May), Breakin’ Convention will then tour for a second consecutive year, to nine venues across the UK throughout May until early June 2017.
Breakin’ Convention has firmly established itself as one of the major highlights on the British dance calendar and one of the world’s greatest celebrations of hip hop culture.
The London festival from Saturday 29 April — Monday 1 May sees Sadler’s Wells’ foyer transformed with live DJs, freestyle dance jams, graffiti exhibitions, workshops from top international artists and live aerosol art. The participatory activities take place pre-show and during the interval. For the fourth year running Breakin’ Convention takes it back to the roots of hip hop on bank holiday Monday 1 May with Park Jam, an outdoor party suitable for all the family in Spa Fields Park.
Following performances at Sadler’s Wells, Breakin’ Convention tours to Edinburgh, Nottingham, Norwich, Southampton, Salford, Leicester, Blackpool, Brighton and Birmingham. The UK tour offers local dance companies the opportunity to perform alongside International acts.
The tour line-up includes Soweto Skeleton Movers, a highlight of last year’s festival. Mixing comedic contortionism with the Pantsula dance style native to the townships of South Africa and performing to Kwaito music, a form of Afro house and the soundtrack of the liberation struggle, the group returns by popular.
Joining them on tour is Canadian group Tentacle Tribe. Founded in 2012, the Montréal-based dance company creates uncommon dance works with a contemporary twist using conceptual hip hop and influences from all types of earthly creatures. The duo’s work experiments with intricate partnering, refined musicality and physical choreography. Tentacle Tribe recently performed at Breakin’ Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Completing the international line up are Just Dance from South Korea. Under the artistic direction of B-boy Ducky of the Drifterz Crew, Just Dance presents an updated vision of Korean shamanistic mask performance. Live Korean drumming accompanies a crew of poppers and B-boys, with many with world titles to their name. Earlier in 2016 the group performed at Breakin’ Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. The London dates mark their Breakin’ Convention UK première.
The UK line-up also features a number of London-based acts, including award-winning hip hop dance company Boy Blue Entertainment. They have been regulars on the Breakin’ Convention stage over the past 14 years. Boy Blue Entertainment is joined by fellow east London group The Rebirth Network, fusing hip hop, contemporary, spoken word and dance theatre. The company performed at Breakin’ Convention in 2015.
Ben Ajose Cutting, aka Mr Ben, presents an ensemble performance with a line-up of London lockers. The Locksmiths return after opening the festival in 2016. Ben has previously trained with legendary dancers such as Suga Pop, Greg Campbellock Jr, Tony GoGo and Popin’ Pete.
Having previously performed on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent, Blackpool based b-boy crew Freefly Dance Company present a new comical work.
The festival also features work from artists who have taken part in Open Art Surgery and Back To The Lab, Breakin’ Convention’s professional development platforms. Artists in the 2017 line-up include Natalie James, Si Rawlinson, Geni Lou & Pax and KR Flow.
Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Jonzi D is the founder and Artistic Director of Jonzi D Projects and Breakin’ Convention. A dancer, spoken word artist and director, he is an advocate for hip hop and has changed the profile and influenced the development of the UK British hip hop dance and theatre scene over the last two decades. Jonzi D is a graduate from the London Contemporary Dance School and a former Associate Artist at The Place. He has toured his own work internationally and is regularly invited to judge international dance competitions.
Jonzi D devised and directed TAG… Just Writing My Name in 2006, IVAN in 2006 and Markus the Sadist, a rap theatre piece in 2009. All pieces successfully toured the UK to critical acclaim. He has also devised, choreographed and featured in various hip hop inspired fashion shows.
In 2013 he wrote and toured The Letter, a piece about the responses to receiving a nomination for an MBE in 2011, and Broken Lineage in collaboration with Ivan Blackstock.
Jonzi D performed The Letter at the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe and also featured on TedEX Warwick and spoke at the European Commission forum on creativity and diversity. Jonzi D performed at Breakin’ Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina earlier in 2016.
Full Breakin’ Convention line-up to be announced Spring 2017. Check www.breakinconvention.com for updates.
Breakin’ Convention ’17
International Festival of Hip Hop Dance Theatre
Sadler’s Wells, EC1R
Saturday 29 April — Monday 1 May 2017
Performances: Saturday 29 & Sunday 30 April at 6pm (pre-show activities from 4pm)
Tickets: £15 — £24 (£17 concessions)
Ticket office: 020 7863 8000 / www.sadlerswells.com
Breakin’ Convention 2017 National Tour dates
Friday 5 & Saturday 6 May Edinburgh Festival Theatre
Tuesday 9 & Wednesday 10 May Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham
Saturday 13 May Norwich Theatre Royal
Tuesday 16 & Wednesday 17 May Southampton Mayflower
Friday 19 & Saturday 20 May The Lowry, Salford Quays
Tuesday 23 & Wednesday 24 May Leicester Curve
Saturday 27 May Grand Theatre Blackpool
Tuesday 30 & Wednesdays 31 May Brighton Dome
Friday 2 & Saturday 3 June Birmingham Rep
For further details of the Breakin’ Convention 2017 tour please visit http://breakinconvention.com/events/festival/breakin-convention-2017-uk-tour
Click here to Check out our review from last year to see why you shouldn’t miss this!