Breakin’ Convention Returns for 2017!


Photo Cred­it: Belinda Law­ley


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 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 /

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

Click here to Check out our review from last year to see why you should­n’t miss this! 

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Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal

Edit­or / PR Con­sult­ant at No Bounds
Rishma Dhali­w­al has extens­ive exper­i­ence study­ing and work­ing in the music and media industry. Hav­ing writ­ten a thes­is on how Hip Hop acts as a social move­ment, she has spent years research­ing and con­nect­ing with artists who use the art form as a tool for bring­ing a voice to the voice­less. Cur­rently work­ing in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media know­ledge to I am Hip Hop and oth­er pro­jects by No Bounds.

About Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal
Rishma Dhaliwal has extensive experience studying and working in the music and media industry. Having written a thesis on how Hip Hop acts as a social movement, she has spent years researching and connecting with artists who use the art form as a tool for bringing a voice to the voiceless. Currently working in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media knowledge to I am Hip Hop and other projects by No Bounds.